While having coffee with a friend, he was telling me how he got his daughter her first iphone for her birthday. She was so excited, went to school to show her friends and came home to tell her dad that she now needed a popsocket. He said, “I just went to a conference and the vendor gave me 10 of them that I then gave to you, where did they all go?” With a sheepish expression she said, “At the time, I didn’t know what they were and stuck them on my bedroom wall as decoration”. Her dad then asked, “How much money is a new one?” The daughter said, “11 dollars”. The dad responded with, “So you're telling me that I gave you $110 in popsockets that you stuck on the wall, and now you need another $11 for one to use?” She looked at him and said, “Yes”.
While he is telling me this story, I was laughing hysterically because I was at the conference where he had proudly gotten the popsockets and said, “My kids like these, I am going to take some home”. At the end of his story he looked at me and said, “I don’t understand how she could waste that money”. I said to him, “That is the value of free. When people get things for reduced price or free, they value it differently than if they had earned it themselves and paid more money for it. Think about the things you get at the dollar store as opposed to things you purchase at New Seasons. You could buy a pen at both of those places, however at the dollar store you might get 5 for $1, and at New Seasons you might pay $7 for 1. Who wants to bet that the average person is more careful with the New Seasons pen than the Dollar Tree pen?
Often in life we take for granted the things that are easily accessible to us. We treat them as though they are free or reduced price. Sometimes these things we take for granted are people in our lives such as parents, grandparents, friends, bosses, or mentors. We have precious gems right in front of us but take them for granted or treat them as lesser value. I challenge you this week to really be aware of the things that surround you. I am curious to know what you already have of value but maybe didn’t recognize until now.
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