I’m keeping the only card that can buy us a better world.

Clearing stuff out of my top dresser drawer – a.k.a., the I’m-not-sure-what-this-is-but-I’m-keeping-it-just-in-case drawer – the other day, I came across my old, inactive wallet. Inside were a bunch of plastic cards.

Expired credit cards, mostly. The old wallet is storage for cards we don’t want to use but want to keep on hand just in case. There were a couple of light cardboard frequent buyer cards, from a local bakery, too. Keepers.

Sat down with a scissors and started slicing through the others…. Halt!

Ran into the most valuable of the bunch. 

Those other cards could buy me all kinds of things, but this one does so much more. It helps me learn, think more deeply, travel to exotic places and keep my brain healthy, all without a dime. 

From a utilitarian perspective the library card is useless. With it I received a much smaller card with a corner keyring hole. It’s with me always. Plus, the staff can always look me up. I don’t need the big one anymore.

And yet, from the days before plastic even existed (oh, to go back and stop it), libraries and library membership have represented advancement to a more empathetic, intelligent and thoughtful society. 

Too bad more U.S. citizens don’t use them.

I put the card into my wallet, instead. The active one.

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Martin C. Fredricks IV

Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV here. I’m husband to an amazing woman who is also my best friend, dad to three outstanding kids, Fargoan (North Dakota, that is), proud introvert, veteran messaging strategist/copywriter, and big-time reader. As they say, if you're gonna write good stuff, you have to read good stuff. A ginger, too - ergo the "Red" - although some of it's going white. Cinnamon-Sugar, I call it. Tattooed to boot; seven so far. At age 54, I'm stilling crankin' AC/DC & Metallica, but now and again I spin some Eric Church and Black Uhuru, too. I love hanging out with my (much) better half, spending time with our kids, writing, hiking, riding my mountain bike and reading.

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