…about something worthless

The item in the gutter had no intrinsic value. In its current condition – dirtied from hours of bus and car exhaust, wet from the residue of someone’s spilled coffee half a block up – it wouldn’t even be accepted by the most desperate child or charity. Yet, for most who saw it as they went by it pricked at something deep inside them, something that those who thought about it at all thought they had control over and that most had simply buried unde rthe armor of $1,500 suits and $300 high heels. The sound of it drowned out by the ring of cell phones and the tweedle of incoming e-mails.

It made them stop, focus, and forget for a minute where they were and who they were pushing, shoving, and striving so hard to become. The ragged ear and the matted fur stripped off the veneer of civility and took those who actually looked back to a time when life was simple, when you could punch your friend in the arm in anger and then five minutes later be hugging that same friend because he’d hurt his knee on the monkey bars. Yes, the lopsided face of the discarded teddy bear was worth materially nothing but it had value greater than the rarest gem for those who actually saw it.

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