In a world of capitalism, in which everywhere is a market and virtually everything is about market – buying and selling, it is good that there are still little but important elements to life that are FREE of CHARGE.
Most things we do today revolve around money – economics. Even when we say, “It is not all about money”, still, money has a role to play; in fact, a common statement goes, “Money rules the world”. Nonetheless, there are life’s gifts which money will not and cannot buy.
Someone joked that if it were possible, men would sell the air we breathe as airtime. By so doing, whoever is not able to purchase enough air to continuously sustain their existence will get out of extinction, in order words, only the rich and economically fit would survive. Have you ever imagined if this were to be the case, how life would be?
Today, we sometimes speak of the lack of respect for human life which we see around us. If common air (oxygen) were to be purchased, then human survival would be far more threatened. Still, within the medical field, oxygen is a commodity to be paid for in order to save the life of a patient. This is understood in cases of emergency and frantic efforts to save a life.
Take some time to think about this: “Money can buy a house but not a home; Money can buy a bed but not sleep; Money can buy a book but not knowledge; Money can buy a clock but not time; Money can buy medicine but not health; Money can buy position but not respect; Money can buy blood but not life; Money can buy sex but not love; Money can buy food, but not appetite; Money can buy finery, but not beauty; Money can buy luxuries, but not culture; Money can buy amusement, but not happiness; Money can buy companions, but not friends.”
If it were possible, men would sell the air we breathe as airtime,
but thank God it’s free!
So, a home, sleep, knowledge, time, health, respect, life, love, appetite, beauty, culture, happiness and friends are among the free precious things that life gives to us. In short, just think of anything that money can buy, you will find that there is an aspect of that item/service/good which money cannot go on to acquire. Oh, not to forget; money cannot buy a good and responsible husband or a virtuous wife!
Besides these intangible values listed above, some other free things in life which money cannot buy are: fresh air, a smile, an act of kindness, laughter, a deep breath that rejuvenates life, dancing to the rhythm of a music, singing a song to lighten the soul, looking into the eyes of a child, perceiving the scent of a flower, holding the hand of a friend, making eye contact with someone, and even the ability to just relax. These are things you can do freely and offer freely to others. Little as any of these may be, value is added to life. Your body and soul also becomes more serene amidst the noise of life.
In reality, you and I know, deep in our hearts that NOTHING really needs to be a “do-or-die-affair”; not power, not position, not my opinion, not my interest, not my religion, not my church, not my idea, not my belief; none of these is a “do-or-die” matter. Your life is so much more than any of these. So why do we get so caught up in many transient issues, issues that if we can sometimes just pause and wait, will take care of themselves. Rather, we often seek to command, to control, to manipulate, to confront, to oppress, to belittle, to humiliate, to ridicule or to attack. Such attitudes and ways of relating to life only leave us more broken, hurt, vulnerable and bitter.
However, we cannot undermine the fact that life – indeed, daily life itself – is a challenge. Our human existence require inner strength, courage, determination, focus and intelligence, else one may not survive the ups and downs. All of these must, nonetheless, be balanced out by a simple and humble attitude and outlook towards life and daily living.
Even little surprises that gladden the heart
are among the many things
that money cannot buy
One can make it a point to do some of the following everyday: Recognize the presence of another human being by freely offering a smile, a handshake, and/or making eye contact. You can offer polite gestures that go a long way to putting others at ease around you. Even a respectable touch of care, a simple hug or showing concern for your neighbor’s well-being may be all that the other person needs. Your thoughtfulness through little acts of kindness, attention, appreciation and providing a shoulder to lean on, may not cost you much, but may mean so much to the other person. Even little surprises that gladden the heart are among the many things that money cannot buy.
Another thing you can do freely as often as you can is, pause, relax your body and look up into the sky. Focus on the clouds and watch them in their beauty. At that moment, your mind is free from the abundant cares of life. This may help you re-focus your mind on the vastness of the universe, the uniqueness/beauty of your being and on the shortness of life.
In order to truly appreciate these free things in life, one need not take life too seriously. However, this does not mean having a careless or non-chalant attitude. It means just looking at your life and the life around you with the simplicity of a little child. Indeed, a deep appreciation for the free things of life we enjoy every day would only attract more goodness in our direction.
Yes! Truly, Money is not everything! And the best things in life are FREE!
- Linda Ellah