When you pick up a penny that’s heads up it’s supposed to give you good luck. I tend to leave pennies for others to pick up – my way of passing the luck along to someone who might need it more. I’m already plenty lucky to have the life I’ve got.
What I do pick up are nails and screws that I come across on the road or in a parking lot. I picked a nail up just today as I was returning an item to Home Depot. It was destined to be stuck in someone’s tire, which would inevitably cause a flat, making someone else’s day a little darker than it might be otherwise. There’s some cosmic cycle there that I can’t control, but looked at differently, me being in that parking lot at that moment, looking down at that particular spot and seeing a nail poised to be run over is an incredibly random event (even at a Home Depot). I was clearly meant to pick it up and remove the hazard from the future of someone else’s life. Or leave it and let the gods of fate determine the outcome.
I pick up glass when I see it on a beach for the same reason. Just because I was lucky enough to not step on it doesn’t mean someone else will be as lucky. Best to eliminate the hazard for future bare footers.
I choose good karma. Picking up the nail, leaving the penny for someone else, picking up the broken glass… and being a positive contributor to this crazy society that we live in. Perhaps the karma will continue to bless me with a good life, perhaps not, but in any case I’ve done my part.