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Are the best things in life free?


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#1    pantodragon

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 03:04 PM

“Whiskers on kittens and raindrops on roses” goes the song, and it goes on to list all the favourite things of Maria von Trapp, and all of them, as far as I remember, are free.  And it is all very nice and the things she lists are all very nice, but……………

I was brought up in a very scenic place, but then the military decided to place some huge oil storage tanks on the hillside above the loch, and though they were camouflaged, they did rather detract from the view.  When I complained about this to my parents, they both responded with, “You can’t eat scenery.”  Very true.  Unarguable, really………..except that ‘man cannot live on bread alone’.

Anyway, although scenery is important, it is still in the same category as things like whiskers on kittens ie the category of things that you can look at, but that is all ……things that are about passive contemplation, not about DOING, not actually about LIVING.

What actually makes my life worth living is being able to DO things, being able to write and paint and make things and go walking and make up stories and poems and go to parties and dance and sing and travel and talk to people, all sorts of people.

I heard a man of the radio this morning (he was the author of that 70’s classic Food For Free) talking about bird song, and talking about trying to figure out why birds sing.  He said that nightingales had been observed to sing for 23 hours at a stretch, and that surely could not be just about territories and mating and other such practical matters.  Did birds, could birds possibly actually ‘enjoy’ the sound of their own voices, he wondered?  To me the answer to that question is obvious: of course they do.  They sing for the sheer joy of singing --- just like crows do aerobatics and play in air currents generated by winds around cliffs and high buildings, and just like horses will tear round the field for the sheer joy of running, and my dog used to do the same thing, just tear around running in circles just full of joy to be alive and able to run.

Those are the ‘best things in life’ --- to be able to write and just to write playfully for the joy of being able to do it, for the joy of being alive, just like the crows are so clearly revelling in their ability to fly, and the song birds are so clearly revelling in their ability to sing.

And the same goes for painting and cooking and gardening and swimming and running and sewing and talking and feeding the ducks and, well, anything else at all that you can do … the joy is just in being ABLE to do it; that is what makes life worth living………

………and I’m talking about ABILITIES, about revelling in ones ability to do whatever one can do, and ABILTIES are FREE.

Of course, you cannot learn to play the piano if you cannot afford to buy, or gain access to a piano; but that is a relatively trivial matter --- there are just so many things one can do, so many abilities one can acquire, that one need not think about the things that require one to have to buy things.

Some time ago I saw a TV show, Big Brother, in which some people were locked away in a house together for weeks on end, and all they had to amuse themselves were the very few possessions that they had been allowed to bring into the house at the start --- basically, it amounted to about one magazine each.  Among the contestants was an artist, and while all the others got mightily bored, or slept, she amused herself by rolling torn pages from the magazines into straws, which she then stuck to a wall to form the outline of a tree.  At the time I thought how wonderful it would be to be able to be so creative, to be able to just look around and make something out of whatever you could find, or to use whatever was there in some way to amuse oneself.

The birds seem to me to be like that.  I watch the crows flying about and settling here and having a look around for what they can see, then moving on to somewhere else, and if they can get up to mischief they will get up to mischief, and sometimes they will tease other birds or animals, and sometimes they fly about alone looking for what opportunity might offer, and sometimes they gather in numbers, just hang out together when they feel sociable, and then they might do a fly-about as a flock, and, well --- it’s that attitude of opportunism………and the crows have a ball!

I have since developed that kind of opportunistic creativity.  I can now be anywhere, and can always find something to amuse myself with; I can construct works of art out of litter if that is all there is.  I can write, and if I can’t write for want of paper, then I can talk, and if there is no-one to talk to, I can make up stories or poems or whatever…………or I can go for a walk, or play golf with a stick and a ball made from whatever happens to be around……

……and it turns out that playing golf with home-made up clubs and balls is actually rather more fun that doing the ‘real’ thing.  I can still enjoy a round of golf, but to make up your own clubs and balls and rules is so much more creative, and the resultant ‘tools’ are so much more challenging to use, that I find ‘home-made’ golf, and other games, is more fun, and more satisfying.  It has the added attraction that you can do it anywhere.

So, to me, the best thing in life is to be free as a bird, and to be able to do all sorts of things, the more the better, and the joy is in the ABILITY to do, and in the opportunism.


#2    Arpee

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 07:40 PM

Magazines, materials to form balls and golf sticks, using pencils, pens, and paper to write. None of these things are "Free", it costs money.

Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the ungrateful and to the evil. - Luke 6:35

#3    Ogbin

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 07:57 PM

Only 2 things I know of in life that you can't buy..., Love and Respect.


#4    Ryu

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 08:44 PM

Nothing is free. Everything as a price, it's just not always in the type of currency we think.


#5    Dark_Grey

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:30 PM

Enlightenment. Realization that you are part of a universal consciousness.

...there may be hidden fees at the other end. (I will get back to you on that)

Exploring your own consciousness is the fundamental right of every individual

Locking people in a cage because they choose to exercise that right should be considered a crime against humanity


#6    spartan max2

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 11:44 PM

The best and worst things in life are free.

" I imagine that the intellegent people are the ones so intellegent that they dont even need or want to look "intellegent" anymore".
Criss Jami

#7    lightly

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 01:35 AM

I like that pantodragon..  "abilities are free".    Yup, our Lives   and all our potentials are free.    I guess that why they call someone  "gifted"  if they are born with some great talent?

     Laughter (sense of humor) is a great gift ...  ( yes, i know you have to pay to get into a movie or buy a book )  But it can cost nothing to observe human behavior and be amused.. or laugh at a joke .

  Fun ... a smile .. a friend .. Love..   .. listening to birds :tu:    ... Yup,  lots of the very best things in life are free

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#8    pantodragon

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 02:17 PM

View PostOgbin, on 26 July 2013 - 07:57 PM, said:

Only 2 things I know of in life that you can't buy..., Love and Respect.

....and there's a third one: pantodragon!


#9    pantodragon

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 02:21 PM

View PostRyu, on 26 July 2013 - 08:44 PM, said:

Nothing is free. Everything as a price, it's just not always in the type of currency we think.

Unless pantodragon says "everything has a price", and then, amazingly enough, some members of this forum, hey presto!, find that "many things are free"........sigh.....


#10    Ryu

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 02:47 PM

Umm...what?


#11    Still Waters

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:53 PM

View Postlightly, on 27 July 2013 - 01:35 AM, said:

Fun ... a smile .. a friend .. Love..   .. listening to birds :tu: ... Yup,  lots of the very best things in life are free
^ This

Posted Image

#12    ReaperS_ParadoX

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 09:08 PM

depends on your perspective on things but you cant really get anything in this world without money, EVERYTHING costs money

COME WITH ME. OVERWHELMING POWER AND MADNESS AWAIT

THAT IS NOT DEAD WHICH CAN ETERNAL LIE AND WITH STRANGE AEONS EVEN DEATH MAY DIE

#13    Pupp3t

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 11:17 PM

I agree, that the best things in life are free. The price for all that you'll enjoy is that you're dead at the end. It doesn't last forever.
So what, that's supposed to be a red light or something. Nothing's forever, so enjoy life. Enjoy the things you CAN do, because it's free. Your talents, your humor, is free. Use it.
   Same goes for the worst things in life. Although that depends on what you mean by worst. Drugs? The universal vice accepted by human beings due to our generation sticking to vice as a recreational purpose? Those things cost a price, of course: early death, terminal illness, etc.
  Money is, in fact, in control of your life, which makes us below animals, in my opinion, since actual animals don't even use money. They value what they got, and we should too.


#14    Arpee

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:44 AM

View PostOgbin, on 26 July 2013 - 07:57 PM, said:

Only 2 things I know of in life that you can't buy..., Love and Respect.

It can't be brought, sold, or given. It can only be inspired from within.

You can do a million nice things for people. You can smile at them, hug them, give them things, but unless their heart is open, they can still be mean and not feel and appreciate the love.

In order to feel love, YOU have to keep it alive within. YOU have to keep focusing on all of the things that you love to keep yourself in that state of being.

Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the ungrateful and to the evil. - Luke 6:35

#15    pantodragon

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 04:33 PM

View PostArpee, on 29 July 2013 - 01:44 AM, said:

It can't be brought, sold, or given. It can only be inspired from within.

You can do a million nice things for people. You can smile at them, hug them, give them things, but unless their heart is open, they can still be mean and not feel and appreciate the love.

In order to feel love, YOU have to keep it alive within. YOU have to keep focusing on all of the things that you love to keep yourself in that state of being.

Hug them?  That's very much a matter of opinion.  The last time I was hugged, it was only the threat of jail that stopped me punching the b******'s lights out.  He had bought my house and it was the take-over day.  The buyer was a right pushy sod, give an inch and he took a mile, out to screw me for everything he could get.  He had virtually moved into the house before the day, before paying for it.  The garden was full of his furniture and livestock, his mail arriving daily through the letterbox and he was for ever on the phone trying to pressure me to allow him some new licence.  The **** had the affrontery to give me a hug as if we were the best of mates, lifelong friends, as I handed over the keys to my house and left.  He even tried to kiss my cheek.  God, I could have slugged that b******.  But he showed his true colours when he sent a bill for some repairs even though the house had been sold as needing some work.  I could have contested, but it was just mkore trouble than it was worth.  Then again, that's was precisely what he relied on: he kbnew he could get away with that small chunk of flesh because the cost of stopping him would have been moere than it was worth.  So a hug from this man was like a bite from a poisonous snake, worse, in fact.  No, hugs do NOT cure the world's ills, they are just a way of shamming friendship and goodwill so that you can get away with blue murder.





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