As simple and direct as price is, it isn’t. Yes, it is usually in black and white with clear script. However, several components only come to our attention with time. First, the price is not always the price. There are hidden costs. Sometimes you can bargain. Second, the price is only as important as the item is to you. If you do not care about the item, you rarely care about the price. Third, the price is always relative to the price of something of similar value.
I love the simplicity of street buying. You don’t worry about returning the item. You don’t worry about warranties, guaranties, and promises. The item is what it is. You negotiate a price for what it is; simple, direct, and final.
Far too often, I buy things that cost a whole lot more than I bargained for. Usually this is because things last a lot longer than I imagined! Who knew how long I would have that cheap saw? Did I have any idea how long the hammer that never felt comfortable would last? Can you ever throw away something that still works as well as the day you bought it, even if it is ugly? The evidence in my closet says no. A Japanese culture says yes! The Japanese know how much something cost because when it is no longer useful they must find a way to get rid of it. I find myself in denial because I still have a hammer I have used less than a dozen times, but it works even if I do not ever want to have to use it. The cost, especially as it relates to benefit, value, or satisfaction, continues to grow.
I wonder how much I’m worth. I’m not the first to ask the question and will not be the last. The answer is, even with my musings, simple. “Because I am God, your personal God, the Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!” (Isaiah 43.3)
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