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Best $ I Ever Spent
While on a recent walk, I chanced to pass a park where a young father was playing with his child with a large ball. As he watched the joy on his offspringís face, he remarked with a smile to a companion. Best three dollars I ever spent!
Did he feel surprised that happiness could be bought so inexpensively? Had he lost sight of the fact that it was the act of playing with his child that brought the joy to both of them, not the cost of the accessories? Had he been so brainwashed by advertising that he believed he required expensive items to enjoy living?
Much of the joy we obtain in life comes from the very simple which is either free or inexpensive. A large source of joy is priceless. Can we put a price on a childís hug or a tender cuddle with a loved one or the loyalty of a dog or the beauty of a sunset, rainbow, or flower? We cannot. We can only appreciate the value of a loved one when they are gone. We can only place a price on health when we have lost it and try to regain it.
Although much in life of value is free, times of joy and happiness can be enhanced at a very low cost, often with materials already on hand. We may give some materials one more use before they enter the recycling bin.
One of the secrets to inexpensive fun is to use that magic ingredient of life: imagination. With imagination, we can amuse ourselves with pencil or pen and a few pieces of paper. If you have trouble thinking there is fun in such pursuits, watch a child enjoy the hours with a piece of paper and a crayon. Or give them a cardboard box and some crayons, scissors and tape, and watch the imagination flow.
Many of us eschew the simple pleasures known to children because we have tapes running in our heads which say, Grow up. Quit acting like a child. In contrast, anthropologist and author Ashley Monteague has declared that his goal of life is to die young ≠ as late as possible. Author Joseph Heller dreamed that When I grow up, I want to be a little boy. When we regain the childlike joy of simple pleasures, the process of living more simply becomes much easier. We see that there is little need for complexity in living, and much joy in simplicity.
So letís get creative and use our imaginations. During your next walk, come up with 10 different fun ideas that will cause you to say: Best $ I ever spent! Even better, come up with several that are free and say Best $ I didnít spend! Now that you have come up with so many good ideas, use them. Itís a crime to waste a good idea, especially a gentle one.
Until next time, happy walking!
Keith C. Heidorn
Best $ I Ever Spent by Keith C. Heidorn, PhD . ©1996, 2002 All Rights Reserved.
I have recently added many of my lifetime collection of photographs and art works to an on-line shop where you can purchase notecards, posters, and greeting cards, etc. of my best images.