Are You Smart?


shel silversteinShel Silverstein was my favorite poet when I was young. This one was always one of my favorites, but now it has a whole new meaning.

My dad gave me one dollar bill
‘Cause I’m his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
‘Cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes — I guess he don’t know
That three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just ’cause he can’t see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!

And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!

And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head–
Too proud of me to speak!

– Shel Silverstein

Sometimes what seems logical is really stupid. Sometimes we think we’re being smart with our money, but really we are setting ourselves up for financial bondage. So the next time you buy something you can’t afford because it’s interest-free for a few months, pay too much for a car because you think you need it, or decide it’s a waste of time to budget, just read this poem again 🙂


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