A Payment Given is a Gift of Appreciation

August 19, 2018

Culture and Society

There is an old adage, or maybe it’s a cliche, that says:

The best things in life are free.

I will not argue whether this is true or false, but I am willing to say that in many instances some of the best things in life are worth the price of admission.

As a musician and content creator, I’ve come across numerous people who always want something for free. I get that. Many people cannot afford a lot of what’s out there. The cost of living in America and most places in the world is perpetually on the rise, and too many people do not have the tools and wherewithal to handle their money wisely.

Nonetheless, there is a problem with always wanting and getting something for free. It devalues the service or product that is given. It discounts the valuable time, thought, and effort needed to learn the skills to make the service or product viable.

Okay then, so what?

Well, sure, you get something for free and save yourself money and/or effort. However, expecting to get everything for free as much as possible is downright selfish.

Yup, selfish.

Just think about it. If everything that was truly valuable was free, then those talented and visionary people behind creating all of this value would be poor and penniless.

Where is the fairness in that?

This is not to say that greed does not happen on the other side because it does. Corporate greed, for example, exists when behemoth companies can monopolize an industry and hike up their prices (while obliterating localized competition in the process).

I’m also not saying that you should not try to get a bargain. If something is on sale, then it’s a win-win. The sellers still get compensation while you get what you want at a more affordable price.

The key concept I stay mindful of is to maintain a willingness to give money toward a product or service that has meaningful value to me, regardless of the price.  If it makes me happy or is helpful to me in some substantial way, then I am comfortable paying the full price for the standard of care and quality that I want.  By doing so, I also recognize the depth of effort taken by the creators/visionaries I am buying from. I am appreciating their work and contributing back to its fullness.

How about a new adage that can become a valuable cliché?

The best things in life do not have to be free.


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