Sunday, January 17, 2010

Those You Touch . . . You Change

Did you know that your money likely has traces of cocaine on it?

A study by Jack Demirgian of the Argonne National Laboratory revealed that a full 78% of the currency circulating in Miami and other major US cities carries trace amounts of cocaine. That’s probably true elsewhere, too.

They were only looking for cocaine, but I wonder what else might be found on the bills? Maybe fast-food products, such as frying grease, mustard or teriyaki sauce? Tea or coffee? And how about rouge or lipstick from purses and lint from pockets? Perhaps ink from a leaky pen? I’ve found more indistinguishable stains on some of my money than I care to think about.

What's more, we’re told that if they look closely enough, they can even learn something about where your money has been. To the store. To the beach. Even hidden beneath a mattress.

Just about anything that comes into contact with money leaves a bit of itself behind. Then, when the bills rub up against each other in a wallet or billfold, they share contaminates. Everything the bills touch will be changed, however slightly.

So it is with us. Everything we touch is changed. I used to play English hand bells. “Don’t touch the bells with your bare hands,” we were told. “Wear gloves.” The oils from our hands changed the quality of the bells.

Everything we touch is changed. And everybody we touch is changed -- even if we're not infected with something contagious. I’m not only talking about physical touch, either. Often we touch their minds and spirits and hearts. Everybody we speak to, rub shoulders with or even smile changed in some minute way. These changes can be helpful or hurtful, depending on our interaction. It is like leaving a piece of ourselves behind with everyone we meet, and taking a piece of them with us.

And even little changes can make a difference. NO ONE is insignificant in this regard.

Bette Reeves said, "If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito." You don’t need to be a mosquito to have an effect on people around you. The question is: what little part of yourself will you leave behind? How will you influence them? Will your encounter be thoughtful or hurried? Helpful or harmful? Intentional or accidental?

There is something awe-inspiring about the influence we have on one another. Whom will you touch today? What will you leave behind, and what will you take with you?

-- Steve Goodier


Pastor Kerry said...

Nice reflection - I enjoy your posts each week.

One of the songs from the musical Wicked comes to mind:

I've heard it said
that people come into our lives
for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
and we are lead to those
who help us most to grow
if we let them and we help them in return
Well I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
because I knew you.

Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
halfway through the wood.
Who can say if I've been changed for the better
but, because I knew you
I have been changed for good.

(hear the song at

PSPam said...

Along with the trace amounts of cocaine can be Hepatitis C as it can live in the air for up to 4 days. I hope by taking this moment to remind people to Get Tested for Hepatitis C that a life or five will be "touched".

Hepatitis C is passed blood to blood and if on a dollar bill that someone uses to snort more cocaine with bleeding in their nostrils or picked up by someone with a cut on their finger - it can be passed that way. Virtually everyone is at risk and it is a simple blood test that can be added to your next lab work. Doctors don't test unless you ASK!

There aren't any symptoms until the late stages of the disease so KNOW YOUR STATUS and get a simple blood test.

About 5 million people in the U.S. have hepatitis C (5 times more than HIV) and less than 1/3 even know it. Please ask your doctor to test you.

Thank you Steve for ALL your wonderful inspirational posts. I have been a follower for more years than I care to remember! LOL Keep up the great work and THANK YOU!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful post and a great reminder as well.