The Price

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.

—Henry Thoreau

20 comments on “The Price

  1. shoreacres says:

    And isn’t part of the problem with living on credit that not a single bit of life has to be exchanged for those purchases? There’s still a price to be paid, but it’s not so immediately obvious.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scott says:

      It’s not immediately obvious, and it’s a bigger price. Sigh. Patience is underrated today.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Bill says:

      Yes. Whenever we buy something on credit we’re trading away our future labor. It’s one thing to exchange the proceeds of labor we’ve already done and quite another to give it away in advance. In some sense it shortens our lives by taking away our future freedom.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, ok, now that Henry Thoreau statement I can identify with. It certainly is true that looking at where my time and money is spent will tell just where my interests and passions in life lie.

    I’m really trying my best to keep up with the philosophical posts of late but as you could see I’m not really good at it. You have challenged my brain more than anyone else and it’s been just what I’ve needed. The dusty parts of my thinking have been activated and have been required to think again. I haven’t done that since college years. Thank You so much for putting up with my off the wall ramblings.

    Have a great life exchange day.

    Nebraska Dave
    Urban Farmer
    Omaha, Nebraska, USA


    • Bill says:

      I’m laughing. I guess I haven’t been very good at staying on topic lately. I post farm-related stuff more often on Facebook and Instagram, but I’ve been a slacker there lately too. I like to have the blog as an outlet for things that aren’t specifically farm-related too. The goats and chickens don’t seem interested in philosophy.


  3. Scott says:

    This is the same thinking that provided the impetus for our move. I just couldn’t see working another 15 years to pay off our house, when the kids are growing up. So I realized that everything we bought was bought not with money, but with my time away from family.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. marie s. says:



  5. thecrazysheeplady says:

    True dat. Good one!


  6. BeeHappee says:

    So let’s all go fishing!!! 🙂


  7. Laura Wills says:

    What a simple statement with so much meaning.


    • Bill says:

      Exactly. Suppose prices were denominated in portions of our lives rather than in money (which we get in exchange for portions of our lives). So for a person who earns $15/hour, a thing that costs $15 is one hour of their life. Imagine if that person took the item to the cashier and was told, “That will be one hour of your life please.”


  8. I enjoy when people share these wise words. Sometimes they fall by the wayside but they remain relevant, and the reminders are often timely. As well as your post today, Celi of thekitchensgarden blog recently shared Desiderata. Both support the strength of my convictions and my purpose ♡


  9. Sunshine says:

    Years ago I read a book called, “Your Money or Your Life” which is predicated on the same principle as Thoreau’s quote. The book takes you through a series of steps in which you write out your personal values, then estimate the value of everything in your home (they have a worksheet for you to do it as I recall), then figure out your true hourly wage and how many of your life hours you exchanged for the things in your house. The book then encourages you to look at every new item you purchase in terms of the number of hours of your life that you will exchanged to purchase it. I found it really helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

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