Look in your wallet right now. Do you have a $20? Not $20 on a credit or debit card, and not a combination of small bills that add up to $20. An actual, single, set aside $20 bill. This bill is a separate tool, set apart from your standard pile of currency and electronic funds.
It’s for “emergency” use.
A good friend of mine has proffered the theory of the MBT, the My Bad Twenty $20. This theory, and I am paraphrasing because I can’t find the video at the moment, covers the fact that $20 is a versatile amount of money. Not just from a monetary standpoint but a social one. $20 means something right now, handing it to somebody also means something.
The My Bad $20 is both financial and social emergency insurance, handing someone a $20 if you’ve had or generated difficult circumstances around them, can do quite a bit to diffuse a potentially escalating situation or to be certain there are no hard feelings after a contentious social encounter. This doesn’t necessarily mean a negative encounter, many negative encounters are already beyond the point where an MBT can turn the situation. But the MBT does wonders to turn potentially negative encounters positive, combined with sincere words of affirmation and contrition. (Hey, bud. I know my guy was acting an ass and puked. Thanks for helping getting him out of here safe. *hands $20*)
This combined societal and monetary exchange salvages savable situations and can leave all affected parties feeling better off (except the blacked out guy), especially in circumstances where you are likely to encounter those people again. It leaves good impressions where there could otherwise be bad. This isn’t “please forget about it”. That doesn’t work, at all, you just paid them to remember. This is literally ‘My Bad, I acknowledge this has been difficult and I or my party contributed to that, thanks for doing your thing and helping out’ and that has a sincerity that leaves a highly improved impression.
That $20 can also be used to cement a relationship and reward extraordinary service. Tipping above and beyond after a particularly good interaction, also to folks who do not normally receive tips it means a great deal.
Now, back to the question, do you have a $20? Or perhaps $50 or even $100 depending on the environment. If not you are lacking a very versatile social emergency tool in a time where people interacting with people can go poorly. Having cash is important because cash is both universal and instantaneous. There is no hassle to it, electronics are a hassle and do not convey the social message sincerely, because of the steps involved and how clunky a PayPal transfer is it comes off as artificial.
Now, let’s think of life threatening emergencies.
That $20 only spends if you have it and it only works if you use it right.
The same goes for a knife. A gun. Or a medkit.
I chose the Pocket Emergency Wallet (PEW) from PHLster for a reason. Medical is substantially more likely to see use than a weapon.
A weapon is for projecting substantial or lethal force in situations where that is necessary to achieve your desired outcome. IE: Survive.
Medical equipment is for injuries, and injuries happen magnitudes more often. Humans (and pets) are really good at unintentionally damaging ourselves. Pretty good at doing intentionally too, but that is overall the rarer circumstance. Like the MBT, any amount of medical aid you can provide in an uncertain world… and hell if it isn’t uncertain right now… has to be on your person in order to make the difference (yes, car counts too if you’re in a position to get it).
I don’t have to point out the myriad situations and locations where this could come in handy, they’re plastered over media. But so many of the forgotten ones are just as relevant. You don’t know if that TQ could save someone at a wreck, but you’ll know for certain if you need something and have nothing.