The Money Exchange

Michel serving as the crucifer on Easter Day with her children

Michel serving as the crucifer on Easter Day with her children

Working at a money exchange in Waikiki gives me the opportunity to observe people and the way they handle their money.  Some people are proud of their fortunes and take a bit of satisfaction in seeing it displayed across the counter.  Others discretely pass me an envelope and make a request not to count their money out in the open.  These transactions take place after they have made the decisions to actually make the exchange.  For many deciding to part with their money is a daunting task.  They fear that they may be making a mistake and they worry that they could have gotten more for their money.

The most interesting thing for me comes before the actual transaction.  It is in the decision making process.  You have those who have done their research; they watch the New York Foreign Exchange and have priced different rates at other money exchanges and banks.  These "planners" are confident in their choice because they have put a great deal of thought into it before hand.  Others that are less prepared think long and hard about whether or not the rate is favorable.  Then the "hesitators" spend even more time trying to figure out how much to actually exchange.  It takes some people two or three visits in a day to actually make their final decision.  I have often thought to myself, "You're exchanging money for money!  It's really not that difficult.  It's not like you're committing to a weekly pledge!"

Occasionally I get lucky and I get a customer who walks up to the window with ease, smiles, says "Exchange please," and sets their money on the counter.  There's no hemming and hawing, questioning, wondering, worrying, or hesitating.  They just trust that everything will work out.  Then off the "trusters" go on their merry way to enjoy their Hawaiian vacation.  You will not see them debating with their spouse, walking anxiously from money exchange to money exchange, or standing in the sun, hands on hips, with a puzzled look on their face.  You can feel the difference in their energy.  They are easy-going and angst-free.  They simply have faith.

I sympathize with the "hesitators" and admit to being one of them.  I am not and never will be a "planner" because it just takes too much time and effort.  I long to be a "truster."  To have that kind of peace of mind when dealing with money is priceless.  I look forward to the day when I can give openly, freely, without hesitation, and with grace.  Until then I try my best, do what I can, and little by little, step by step, as long as my feet are facing the desired direction, the rest of me will follow, and eventually I will arrive at my goal.

Michel Reavis