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Some people use the term "nonsense" but I prefer to use the phrase "uncommonly sensed" because it's more reflective of creative types.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Measure of All Things

Economists will say that something is worth as much as another person is willing to pay for it. They’re economists, so of course they’re talking about money. But why do we always look at money to determine the bottom line on decisions? Why don’t we consider other costs or gains? I think money is the measure of all things because money is easy to count. It comes with numbers pasted right on the face of it. There are different denominations, and we can make change with it. You can’t do that as easily with things like your health, well-being, relationships, quality of life, or soul. But what if you could? What if whenever you made a purchase or decision a cosmic cashier could ring you up and before you walk out the door with that freshly made choice the clerk would say:
“That will cost you half your liver. You’ll be placed on an installment plan with a balloon payment due upon your untimely death.”
“That will cost you two marriages and the relationship with your oldest child. Taxes will be added and annually compounded in order to add emotional injury to your loved ones.”
“That will cost you 1/5th of your soul. Would you like me to supersize your material gain for only 10% more of your soul?”
The truth is that we pay these prices, but we’re so busy looking at the things we can easily measure that we don’t notice. Sometimes when a person tells me that their budget can’t afford a vacation or a work of art I respond with, “My soul can’t afford for me not to have it.” Because the truth is that we can always afford what’s most important to us, and when I’m gone I want the people around me to remember the joy we experienced together and be comforted by positive memories in their pain. Money has no power to do this.

Rest assured, I’m not advising going into debt in order to justify spending on a whim. I’m simply asking people to re-prioritize and think about the yardsticks we’re all using to make sure that it’s the right one. Money shouldn’t be the measure of all things. It’s simply a vehicle to achieve other more important things. For some reason we’ve devalued the wrong currency.

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