How many of you would turn down free money? If someone just walked up to you in the middle of the street and offered you some money? How about if the Publishers Clearinghouse van pulled up in front of your house, and they presented you with a big ol’ check with your name on it for $5000 a week for life!? Would you turn it down and walk away?
Not many would. Heck, I don’t know if anyone would actually say no. I know I probably wouldn’t. And, if I had to guess, I’d say you wouldn’t either. The fact of the matter is that we all like stuff for free. Free money is great (although rare), but we hunt down free products, free trips, and anything else that someone might be giving away for free. Some of us spend entirely too much time hunting down free. But, is free money (or items) really the best money?
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem to lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything it’s value.
Paine was on to something, I think. After all, how many stories have you heard about lottery winners spending all their millions only to end up on the docket at the local bankruptcy court? The truth, should we really think about it, is that we do assess a portion (at least) of a things value based on how much effort it took to get it. For you and I, a nice sandwich at the corner deli might not be something of great value simply because it can be easily attained. An hour or so of work, and a short walk down the road and there you have it. Those starving kids in Ethiopia that our mothers were always telling us about, on the other hand, would likely value that sandwich a little higher. It’s not every day that they have the opportunity to eat bread or meat. They may have to work for days in order to actually afford something like that. If they can find work.
Don’t get so carried away in your search for free money that you forget the true value of the thing. A dollar bill still has the same value no matter the method of getting. Or, maybe spend some time assessing the value that you have for things, and making adjustments. Maybe it’s not the thing you want, so much as the feeling it gives. Freedom doesn’t have a price. Freedom is free, but you have to be unchained from your debts and you desk in order to attain it. It’s the long battle to unchain ourselves that gives freedom it’s value, even if it’s price is free.