The Best Things in Life are definitely NOT FREE. Not the Best Things, or anything else.
What am I, some awful cynic, a Scrooge who has a warped view of what “the best things” are? Absolutely not. I doubt anyone would disagree with my estimation of the Best Things – like beauty, love, family, friendship, music, laughter, the smiles of children, sunshine on a cold day, sunrises and sunsets, any and all of nature, from “the mountains to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam.” The list goes on and on, to Life itself.
But, we must pay for everything – in some currency or another. We pay a little or a lot, in accordance with the value a thing has for us. It’s like the honor system, except that when we don’t pay, we don’t receive.
What I’m talking about is PAYING Attention, PAYING Respect, and GIVING of Ourselves.
Living is all about Exchange, and we decide what we are willing to give in exchange for something else. When we wake up in the morning, we exchange the comfort of the bed for something else important to us – whether it’s to go to a job, take care of someone else, exercise, go to class, keep an appointment, work in a garden, catch a flight, play, meditate, or Whatever.
Throughout the day, we choose what we PAY attention to, if even for a few minutes, out of a demanding schedule. It’s the quality and not the quantity of time we give to a person, a relationship, a task, music, art, or a bit of nature, that counts.
Recognizing the exchange we have to make of some other use of our time to PAY attention to, and PAY respect in the moment a child or other loved one asks a question, wants to do a “show and tell,” or just “be” with us, we can appreciate one of the Best Things.
When we pause for even a moment in a busy day or after an exhausting one to sit and observe nature, even in its minutest, microcosmic part, we are GIVING of ourselves, our time, to that moment, and we are rewarded with a look at beauty, insights into life, and serenity.
And what does a smile cost us? When we take a fraction of a second to smile at a passing stranger, that rewards both of us. If you don’t believe me, check out this article: