The Perception of Value
By: Allison Kugel
“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” – Jim Rohn
I can recall, back in 2012, reading a fascinating article about the discovery of a new planet made entirely of diamond. Can you imagine? That precious stone that Marilyn Monroe famously crooned about ala Diamonds are a girl’s best friend… and there’s a whole planet in our galaxy that’s made up of the stuff?!
I laughed to myself at the time, pondering the thought, “Would diamonds have nearly the same value and prestige as they do here on earth, if we lived on a planet where the very bedrock beneath our feet was made of diamond?” I believe the answer is no. If that were the case, gifting your paramour with a diamond ring would be the equivalent of going to the nearest beach, and picking up a simple rock off the ground. It would be considered “ordinary.”
You laugh, but think about it. I am not trying to belittle the value of diamonds, and there is certainly nothing wrong with enjoying some material things. Rather, I am illustrating that what we covet is often a matter of perception and societal conditioning. Have you ever asked yourself, “What would I hold most dear in my life, if not for what I have been indoctrinated into valuing by my society or social circle?”
As human beings, we tend to value things that cost great sums of money, or things that we perceive as hard to attain.
The things in life that are given to us freely and easily, we often take for granted. The great irony here is that the things with large monetary price tags attached to them are largely replaceable, whereas the things we are given for free like love, friendship, good health, knowledge of oneself and the world, our imagination, and even our bodies, are not replaceable.
Did you know that the price of an artificial limb can be as much as fifty thousand dollars? Unless you’ve had to be the recipient of one due to disease or an accident, I bet you’ve never concerned yourself with such a fact. The cost of an artificial heart could run you in the area of three hundred thousand dollars. And to think, we are issued these divinely made human bodies at birth. It is nothing short of a miracle.
Having eyes to view a sunset, ears to hear a beautiful piece of music, legs to run and jump, arms to hug, our imaginations to create with; these are the true gifts of life. Everything else, well, everything else is advertising. The love and support of a true friend or loved one, and the camaraderie of our communities, if we allow it to, can truly bolster and propel our spirits forward.
Material things are fine and can be enjoyable to experience, but balance is key. So give thought to what you hold as valuable, and ask yourself, “If there were no crowd to impress, no willing participants to applaud or express their envy, would I still find this item to be of value to my life?”
While some of the things we possess are big, fast or shiny, with large pricetags attached, others are simply… priceless.