Beliefnet
O Me of Little Faith

If you haven’t made its acquaintance, let me introduce you to Soul Pancake. It’s an interesting place, wrapped around the idea of exploring the intersections of creativity, spirituality, and philosophy. The site asks: Where do you go on the Interwebs if you want an irreverent, fun, and profound take on God and Art and the Soul and Faith and Beauty?

And every day it answers that question — you go to Soul Pancake — in some interesting ways. Also, FYI: One of the site’s founders and first causes was Rainn Wilson. Dwight, from The Office. Yes, it’s a little quirky.

Anyway, yesterday the Soul Pancakers asked a question that got me thinking, and I want to pass the question on to you. Here it is:

Write a list of five things you’d be willing to chop off your pinky-toe for. In other words, what do you want, and how much do you want it?

That’s interesting, because I’m not that attached to my pinky-toe. And I can deal with pain. So it turns out I can think of a lot of things I’d give up a virtually useless little piggy to ensure.

But here’s my top five, in no particular order:

1. Find a cure for cancer. I put this one first because it’s the least selfish. But, yeah, I’d go through a moment of pain and some mild disfigurement to keep people from dying.

2. Solve world hunger and solve the world’s water problem. I’d also do it for this, because once you fix those things you fix a lot of other problems, too. What a humanitarian I am!

3. Two million dollars. I’ve decided that $2 million is all I would need to live a comfortable life without having to worry about having a job. Sure, I’d probably still have a job — I’m far from the kind of person who can just do nothing all day — but I wouldn’t need a job. By carefully investing $2,000,000, I could pretty easily make a 4% return every year. That’s $80,000. That’s plenty comfortable. I could not only live on that amount, I could raise my family on it very nicely. That’s worth a toe. So let’s make this very clear: I would chop off a toe for $2 million. Just in case you’d like to test me on it.

4. A guarantee of old-age death for my immediate family. This one sounds weird, but think it through. We’re all gonna die. I can accept that. What I don’t want to happen is for anyone I love to die early. If you could somehow guarantee that my wife, my kids, my parents and siblings would all live long enough to die a happy, peaceful death from old age — as opposed to an accident, or sickness — then my toe is yours. Heck, I’d give you BOTH pinkies for this one.

5. To save another person’s life. I can’t for the world think of an instance where this would be necessary, but if a personal pinky-toe amputation was required in order to save the life of another person, I wouldn’t hesitate. Granted, I might ask someone for $2 million afterwards — an insurance company, perhaps? — but I’d chop a toe even if I got nothing in return. Your life is worth a small, ugly toe digit.

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I’d love to read your list of five things you’d give up a toe over. If you’re interested, you can read the comments to the question as it was posed at Soul Pancake.

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