I recently hired a college-age neighbor to clear brush at my mom’s house. I told him he could earn some extra cash to buy tunes for his Ipod. “I don’t buy tunes, I download them,” he said. I walked away sadly. I know his mother and she pays for what she uses.
What we value, we pay for.
When he finishes the job and comes to my door, maybe I won’t pay him. I’ll tell him that if he doesn’t value the work of the musicians he listens to, I won’t value his work either.
But I’m not that kind of person.
Does he value only the people he can actually see. Does he value me? If I did work for him, would he pay me? (I did work for him once and his parents offered to pay me.)
If his favorite band came to town, would he pay for tickets? Would he purchase their CD?
Perhaps to value he must see. Do we value only what we can see? What does it mean to see? Do we see, truly see, the cashier at the checkout, the waiter in the restaurant, the gas station attendant? Even if they are not tipped, do we value them enough to converse? To see them as people like us?
What do you value? Who do you devalue? Maybe it's time to take a second look.