I don’t recall exactly what got me thinking
about value, but it began a couple weeks ago. Maybe it was my
daughter’s and grandchildren’s visit. It could have been one or
more of the news stories about the current economic issues, or
perhaps it was all the time I had to contemplate the cosmos during
our recent cruise on the Upper Mississippi River.
Just recently, we transferred our retirement
investment accounts to a local wealth management firm. It was that
term, wealth, that prompted me to zero in on the meaning of
value. When someone speaks to you about managing wealth,
they’re talking about money—not necessarily coins and currency, but
anything you own that can be valued by assigning an estimate of
In my May blog, I reflected on some of the
things that constitute wealth, which I believe go well beyond money
and possessions. In order to determine wealth by virtue of riches
other than gold, however, one must spend time contemplating the
value of those possessions.
Did you know that there is a thing called
value theory? Yeah, it’s a study of how, why, and to what
degree humans value things and whether the object or subject of
valuing is a person, idea, object, or anything else. It even has a
fancy name: axiology—the study of the nature of value. There
are also several different methods for ordering values into a
hierarchy. I’m flashing back to a time when I sat down with my
employees to help them establish career objectives by defining and
ordering the professional traits and experiences they considered
valuable into one of those hierarchical models.
I don’t have to think about value in the
context of a career anymore. Now, in my “August years”, I find it
much more fulfilling to consider all the things that are valuable
to me that I never seemed to have time to think about in the past.
For example, I have an old John Deere hat that I value, but I’m
pretty sure everyone else would throw it away if they happened to
find it in their house. As I sit here thinking about all the
“important” things I’ve accumulated over the years, I realize that
they are only valuable to me.
Jayne Lisbeth, author of the excellent book
Writing in Wet Cement, wrote about a similar topic,
“Artifacts Of My Life”, in her June blog (https://www.jaynelisbeth.com/post/artifacts-of-my-life),
and I thought she summed it up very nicely. She wrote, “It’s up to
my kids to go through the safety deposit boxes of our existences.
They can clean out the detritus of our lives and hearts”. She has
an eloquent way with words.
So, all those nostalgic keepsakes that remind
me of my life will be relegated to my heirs and they will
ultimately apply a new set of criteria to determine what’s valuable
when I’m gone. In an effort to tip the scales in my favor, I sat my
daughter and grandchildren down in my study while they were
visiting and listed all of the things that I thought they should
consider valuable, complete with the stories behind each item. To
their credit, they feigned interest, demonstrated a modicum of
enthusiasm, kept their cell phones in their pockets, and laughed at
my funny stories. They’re so good to me.
The bottom line: valuable possessions are
great to own, and money certainly makes life a little easier in
many ways. But money can’t buy happiness, although it can buy wine,
which kind of the same thing. Just kidding. Family, love,
health, friends, a good neighborhood, a sense of humor, a decent
working brain, and much more: those are the real valuable
things that make me feel wealthy. Giving some serious thought about
those things in your life that are truly valuable is a very
worthwhile endeavor. I highly recommend it.
Okay, so I think it goes without saying that
books are valuable, and I just happen to be preparing for an
August release of my latest novel, The Five Watches: An Accident
of Time. For a mere $19.99 you could purchase a paperback
version of this book, or, for a paltry $7.99, you could own the
e-book version of this profound, action-packed story. Now, that’s
what we call value—a lot of ‘bang for your buck’ as they
say. I spent a lot of my valuable time writing this novel to
be certain it was worth your valuable time reading it, and
I’m confident that your ultimate evaluation of the story
will be positive.
Think of it this way. Money is one of those
tangible things that is given an ‘assigned’ value: a
one-dollar bill equals one dollar of purchasing power (of course,
to be accurate, you have to apply the ratio of the base index value
to the yearly index value using the Consumer Price Index and
subtract the rate of inflation). Whereas a book not only possesses
a tangible monetary value based on its original price (and
accounting for a reasonable depreciation of value over time
and use), but it also possesses the inherent value of the
human thoughts it contains—which may be priceless!
I’m sure most of you can see that a book,
therefore, is an incredibly solid investment of significant
value. Act now!
By the way, Jayne Lisbeth’s next book,
Raising the Dead, will also be releasing in August. You
still have time to purchase and read her current book, Writing
in Wet Cement, before the new one is released!
Oh, did I mention that you should also
purchase my book? You can pre-order right now!
On our recent cruise on the Upper Mississippi
River, Paula and I stumbled upon a truly amazing object of immense
value. Our last port of call was Red Wing, Wisconsin, where
we discovered the “Largest Boot In The World”. That’s it in the
picture for this month’s blog. Now, I think everybody can readily
agree that this artifact is about as valuable as you can get, and
yet there we were, standing right next to it. It was a
Be good to each other – and READ A BOOK!