“Would you like to apply for a Home Depot credit card”?
“Errr…no. I am ok”.
“Why not? Every time you buy something at Home Depot you will get a 5% discount”.
“Oh! I see. That is ok though. I am not a big fan of credit cards”.
“No one is. But everyone loves to save money. You got to give up something to gain something”.
If it were not for a celestial event, what else would have manifested this philosophical muse to appear in the form of a billing clerk to lighten my otherwise dreary hardware buying experience?
What woke me from my shopping slumber was the last statement that the guy so innocuously slipped in probably more as a matter of fact than intentionally.
Whatever was his intention, it certainly drove me to think of another related event. Last year our son, Kevin, was applying to colleges for his undergraduate degree. A key part of the selection process was the essays each university expected him to write to prove his worldview on topics that they provided. One in particular, is still green in mind. That being, “Describe an event in your life that transformed you from a child into the young adult you are today”.
Needless to say Kevin chose his first shaving experience as that event. According to him it was a truly decisive moment that in one fell swoop took him from a happy go lucky child to a phantom adult within the time it took to remove his ‘unruly peach fuzz’ as he called it. He went on to describe the spell it cast on him and the areas of his life that would no longer be the same and the decorum he was now expected to maintain in social circles. On and on and on.
Seemingly innocent incidents that dump a truckload of wisdom in the shortest time possible. What else would I call that?
What am I willing to give up to gain something? In my very first few jobs, I gave up all my otherwise free time to put in sixteen hour days for years on end.
Marriage brought in some interesting experiences. Fatherhood certainly called for giving up some of life’s little pleasures. The TV remote was certainly one of them. Having to watch one hundred reruns of Barney was certainly something I had to put up. Or more like give up brain stimulating antics from Seinfeld for the intellectual manna called Barney.
At each stage, life calls for giving up something, to gain something. And it was up to me to do in a way that it brought positivity and light to the life I lived at that point in time and ones that were going to follow. When I watched the Barney reruns, I bonded with my son so much that we are now friends and have a wavelength that matches enviously well. Losing the remote control battle pales in comparison to the joy of friendship that I now enjoy with my son.
Question of the day is this. What will you give up to gain something? The answer could be as diverse as the stage of life you are in. If it is sacrificing an hour of TV a day to attain the two-books-a-month-goal, then it is absolutely worth it. If giving up the extra coffee every day could save you fifty calories and potential threat of diabetes double ok for that as well.
What will you give up?