Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Nothing in Life is Free

Something I have learned in life is that nothing in life is free. I prefer not to use the word "free" but instead say "offered at no cost to you". Because the reality is, anything that is being offered for free, no matter what it is, costs someone something. And just because something is free does not mean it has no value.

Advertisers frequently use the term "free" when enticing people to buy their products. As an added bonus, they throw in something free! But in reality they may be charging you twice as much for the product you are buying.

If you purchase a lottery ticket and happen to win the lottery, you may think you are getting something for free, but just because it's free for you, doesn't mean that it didn't cost someone something. The reality is, lots of people with gambling problems may have spent their last dollar so that you could benefit from the winnings. When someone purchases a lottery ticket, they are not really buying a ticket. What good is a ticket? They are purchasing a "chance", something of little or no value, in the hope of winning something of value. But what they are really looking for is something for free.

If someone offers you a free gift, and you accept it, you don't ask "How much do I owe you for that?" But you also know that with the gift there was some sort of cost involved, whether in the form of time, energy, money, etc.

My daughter brought home a "free" puppy the other day from in front of Wal-mart. Guess what? That free puppy is costing her big time now in food and vet bills!

We all know as Americans our freedom is very important to us. But I think many people would agree that there is no freedom we have today that did not come to us at a cost to someone. People who have gone before us have given their lives so we could have the freedom we enjoy today.

Sometimes we are guilty of using the word "free" when referring to the services offered through government programs. For example, the free tutoring and other services offered by SSS are paid for by federal dollars, which in turn are generated from the taxes by the citizens of our country. Just because they are offered to us "at no cost" does not mean they are "free" and certainly does not mean they are of no value.

So the next time you hear the word "free", whether it's on the home shopping club or wherever, think of me, and think of who is paying the price for you to enjoy what is being offered to you for "free".

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