The best things in life are free, or so they say. While I believe this, I think it’s a little bit more complicated that so simple a statement. What are these best things in life, anyway? Love certainly springs to mind. Friendship, a close second, though one might argue that friendship is simply a different form of love. Harmony, perhaps? I would be very surprised if one were able to find harmony on anything but a fractional scale for free.
Let’s stick with love for now, as it’s something that’s most likely (hopefully) touched each of us at some point along the way, and in all honesty I believe it is the best thing in life. Love doesn’t care what you look like. Love doesn’t care where you live. Love doesn’t care how much money you have in your bank account or 401k. Love doesn’t care what car you drive, or if you drive at all.
Love in it’s purest, simplest form, does not cost money. One can never buy love. Love is freely given. But to love means to protect, to provide for, to enhance the beloved. We buy houses, we buy security, we buy food, we buy health. These are the debts we pay for this free thing, and we’ll pay whatever price is necessary. This is made necessary by greed, which preys on love.
Greed could arguably be the worst thing in life, though it is free, like the best things. Greed is the reason professional sports players get the money that they do, because there are those who love the sport, and will pay to see it played. Greed is the reason health insurance companies can raise their rates by 20% each year, because we’ll do everything we can to make sure our loved ones are covered. Greed is the reason there are wars. Greed is the reason we compromise on the things we want just to make sure we have the things our loved ones need.
It can be irritating that we’re born into this world and have to go through twenty years of school, just so that we can survive, and that’s even if we’re not lucky enough to find someone to love! Greed, like original sin is a debt for the simple privilege of being born!
I do not regret or the best things, nor do I begrudge the worst. I’d never rather go without the best, and would pay whatever price I could for those I hold dear, as I’m sure anyone else would.
I have been blessed with love in my life, and as a bonus I’ve experienced many of the other free things as well. I’ve been enchanted by stories. I have been moved by music. I’ve had my breath taken away by nature. I’ve shared laughs. I’ve spread joy.
The best things in life are free, and the worst things in life are forced upon us all. But perhaps it’s the worst things that make us appreciate the best even more? How can one love, without knowing hate? Without hate, is there love? Without grudge, is there forgiveness? Without grief, is there joy? How can one love life unless he or she is occasionally reminded of his or her mortality?
They say you never know what you had until you’ve lost it, and I think that’s unfortunately common, though not necessarily true. It doesn’t take much to realize what you have, as long as you realize why you do the things you’re doing.
Take some time out of each day to remember that without the bad, there’d be no good, and without the price, there’d be no payoff.