In 1956 this check was issued for cotton. It was payment given to a farmer for the crop he had processed at the local Cotton Gin. To us it might not seem like a lot of money, yet to him it may have been the difference between life and poverty. 

Sometimes we get frustrated with work and the mundane things we have to do to earn our paycheck. And yet, no matter how you look at it being employed is better than being unemployed. To have an income and the ability to pay your way in the world is an important element to our own self worth. This check represents income for the farmer, months of hard work, and the ability to take care of his family for another season. 

Sometimes we need help. Sometimes life takes us down a different path than we expected and we need someone to help us get back on our feet. We need an opportunity to change our world, work and earn a wage, or we need someone to take a chance on us. We all need a break at one time or another in life, which means we have to be willing to take a risk. Risk means we need to face the unknown and forge forward with the hope that things will get better. Risk also means that we have to be willing to invest in others when we do not know exactly what the outcome will be. 

The life of a farmer is full of risk and hope. They spend hours toiling, working the land in hopes that a profitable crop will come by harvest. Weather, insects, nature and their own health may work for or against them. And yet everyday they get up and go to work to provide for their family. Every day rain or shine they work to keep things going, keep the crop healthy, keep a roof over their head. It’s hard work, and a simple check like this one is the simple reward for all the months of toil. 

Ponder how hard you work to earn your living. Be grateful for all the people who contribute to your survival without you even knowing their name. We are independent yet interdependent. As I sit in my cotton night gown, covered by a quilt made out of cotton, soon to go to be in cotton sheets…I am very grateful to the hard working farmers who harvested thier cotton crop to make my world a better place. For the farmer it is all in a day’s wages, or in the case of the farmer receiving this check…it’s all about the cotton’s value.