Brighter side: Coins, fountains, and wishes

Though the wishes don’t come true, the gesture of throwing coins has merit

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A few coins are being thrown in the air. The backdrop is blurred.
Make a wish! PHOTO: Nikita Khandelwhal / Pexels

By: Jacob Mattie, Opinions Editor

Throwing coins into fountains, to the best of my knowledge, has no wish-granting powers. Trust me; I’ve thrown many coins into many fountains and I’ve yet to notice any tendency for these wishes to come true. I’m not likely to stop anytime soon though — although it costs a few dollars on occasion, I’ve found that flipping the odd coin is a powerful way to stay engaged with the world around me.

To be clear, I’m far from rich. Rent and groceries outpace my wages, which really pay more in experience and good vibes than anything fiscal. But when monthly expenses range in the thousands of dollars, a missing loonie here or there really makes no difference. What the lost coin serves as, however, is a statement — it’s a reminder that life exists beyond the sum of wages and receipts.

To my knowledge, nothing constructive has ever come out of a coin in a fountain. Maybe people passing by notice it and feel some sort of human connection. However, by and large nobody profits (except maybe the fountain cleaners). Even something as selfless as donating to a charity, carries some sense of purpose. A fountain does none of this. In fact,  just about any other action you can take is a stellar decision when measured against throwing coins into a fountain.

But having lost a handful of dollars to fountains, I find myself more likely to throw money and effort towards the spur-of-the-moment things I do find interesting, like a busker on the street, or the occasional bizarre knick-knack from whatever shop I find myself in. Taking up new hobbies is easier — I might enjoy it, I might not, but in any case it’s much better odds than anything I’d get from a coin in a fountain.

For the price of a couple dollars, that’s well worth it. And hey, if the wishes ever do come true? That’ll be a sweet bonus.