Money For Nothing

Forty years ago a little-known group called Dire Straits released a song that mocked MTV and most pop culture connected to the iconic creation. But they weren’t wrong. Long before Brandons or Karens, there were innovators engineering new ways to glean a penny from a dime.

It’s the “trust” for me. For most of our lives, we unwittingly spent money without considering where the extra goes. We bought things at the suggested retail price, grew tired of it before we even considered the depreciated value, and discard it even sooner.

Interestingly, those who refuse to get rid of their pop gadgets and fashions are ridiculed as hoarders. Strangely, they see a value in things that others do not. Intrinsic value is still value. As is sentimental value. But the psychologists call this an ailment best classified in the DSM-IV. The rest of us are “normal” because we buy overpriced things and throw them away.

I think value hits differently when we can actually afford something.

In reality, we often overlook the actual cost of our purchases and/or investments:

Purchase price
Practicality
Durability/reliability
Cost of financing
Satisfaction with the product/service
Availability
Replacement costs
Maintenance
Serviceability
Supply/demand
How long it will be fashionable
Long term value
Trade-in value/depreciation

How will you apply this theory? Does it only apply to goods and services? Could it apply to “other” things?

When we pay for something, we don’t ask about the profit margin. We don’t consider the innovation, research, or development. At best we might imply that we’d like to see the fortunes we spend result in responsible benefits for the employees or charitable contributions to a non-profit. But if those perks translate into inflated prices, then all deals are off!

We want transparency but we don’t want to invest energy. For the purposes of this idea, money is energy.

We might engage if we thought we have something to gain.

How much would you pay for trust? What would you invest? Should you invest even a penny? Or how about a dime? Are you willing to play a game? Would you be more willing to engage in an experiment? Let’s develop a compromise and call it an experience.

We can not buy trust. But we can lease it.

Here’s how it will work. Without knowing for certain where your money will go, transfer one penny. By doing so, you invest some time by learning where your money is going. Once you have more information, lend me a dime. By offering me the opportunity to send it back, you are leasing trust.

But if you like the prospect, and you trust the process, donate a dollar. You won’t get the dollar back, but I’ll appreciate the cup of coffee you’d be buying me.

Intrigued yet? Give it a try!

Now let’s recap:

(1) transfer a penny. It will not be returned, but you’ve learned something about yourself.

(2) lend a dime. I’ll send it right back, and you’ve practiced the art of trust.

(3) donate a dollar. I’ll accept your contribution for my coffee and add you to my subscription list.

I look forward to seeing what you decide.

Movement Heals

Just yesterday, I shared an appetizer with a colleague who is going through a personal trial. My friend doesn’t offer many details at first, but once asked, the emotions flowed. I can’t be sure how to measure the disappointment, but also can not determine the amount of trauma my friend is enduring. Either way, it’s not for me to judge. All I know is how I process what I’m told. All I can do is try to empathize (and maybe draw from my own experiences). I wasn’t asked for input, so I reserved my opinions. And when we had consumed the entire appetizer, we washed it down with a bottle of beer.

We moved on…

We listened to our other coworkers. We laughed. We drew some conclusions. We walked away.

We moved…

When we think about our interactions with one another, we can not overlook the fact that whatever we are going through right now is but a sand in an hourglass of time. It rarely feels that way in the moment, but when we look back we can be glad that we came through it.

I suggest chronicling your experience while you’re going through it. Talking through it is helpful too, but when the conversations subside, what’s most important is how we process and progress. Movement…

Yesterday, I chronicled nothing. There is no record of what happened. I barely recall how I made it to today, and yet…today came. So today, I will reflect on how I felt, my obstacles, and how I overcame them. Today, I move…

As I move, I decide to change it up a little. I left my car keys behind. I overlooked the bicycle with the flat tire, and took a stroll. With a fuzzy destination and a foggy mind, I began to walk. I walked…

I walked and walked. There was so much on my mind at first. I wanted to write it all down, but I had no pen. I wanted to talk it out, but I was all alone. And so I let it all just dissolve. Like grains of sand between my fingers, it all just faded away.

My problems are not resolved. My trauma is not gone, but my steps are counted. It was the movement that was setting me free. And suddenly I realized that even without chronically my fears and victories, nothing matters more than right now. I am here. I am moving. I moved on. I kept walking…

Keep Moving

Delicious Sleep

Things that keep me awake at night…

Names in the news that don’t match faces I know.

Holidays that celebrate death and darkness

Irony

Satire

Alternate perspectives

The need to jot down a thought, whiticism, or revelation, knowing that few will see it or even fewer will understand; or worse—that someone will understand but not think it’s clever.

Contrasting messages that warn my child that living in the moment can be dangerous; meanwhile reminiscing brings joy into my own live.

Looking in the mirror and seeing the same person that was there yesterday, while recognizing an old friend from years ago.

Noticing the gray hair is no longer confined to my scalp, and being frustrated that it has probably been that way for much longer than I’d like to admit.

Finally speaking up for myself after months (or years) of silence.

Resilience looks different now.

Discomfort feels different now.

The need to assimilate fluctuates.

The word ”asynchronous” fades from my vocabulary even though I am called to do it again and again.

Witnessing the leaves on the trees turn and fall

Knowing this is a played-out metaphor for my own life

Playing on my phone (like a child), addicted to the blue light.

In the middle of the night is when my mind wanders. Sometimes after midnight, but always before 3am

Cryptic cynicism

Master of my own domain, jacks of all trades die alone