Monday 29 August 2016

Thinking about more than just money.

Cost – Value – Worth – Investment may not be seen by most as the four horsemen of the apocalypse, however I would submit that they are four words whose wider use is becoming lost in our modern world and whose predominate use today could help bring about a more cynical and negative world, one that is focussed on financial gain.

All four of these words have a range of different meanings and yet today these definitions for each form within our society a virtual, if not actual, hierarchy where, their association with money is what springs, first and foremost, into people’s minds.

However they all have other meanings that are, in my view, far more positive and can bring far more into our lives, if you like a much deeper use than this monetary one and here I would like to challenge you to start to change the current thinking on the use and positioning of these four words – Cost – Value – Worth - Investment

The usually used definitions of this word is brings on negative feelings, these are; to require a payment – to cause a loss, a suffering or a sacrifice, to calculate the ‘price’ of something.

It is my belief that of the four, Cost – Value – Worth – Investment - we should regard Cost as a highly negative word and thus as one to be avoided in our writing and our thought.

This can be the quantification of something as a way of measuring it against a specific unit, often monetary and equally as a way of more subjective observation of what does a certain element add to a work of art, a performance, a speech and so forth.

If we choose to use the latter interpretation of Value we can move away form a monetary dominated developed world and towards a more appreciative and rewarding society.

This word is often linked to the previous one, value. It is often defined as being the value of something, especially in terms of currency. Another definition is that of the sum that something can be bought for – again usually in monetary terms.

The two, far more positive, uses of the word and the ones that I like are;
  • The goodness, usefulness or importance of someone or something, irrespective of financial value or wealth
  • The wealth of a person, group, or organisation or other entity

Both definitions meaning; that extra, or special, something that is brought to by a person, project or organisation to the world and which goes beyond monetary measurement – and quite close to that alternative use of the previous word, Value. Imagine what a powerful tool the two together could be!

Usually today seen as the setting aside of money in some way that it in the future it will produce a greater amount of money. Personally I prefer another definition – that of a contribution of something such as time, energy, effort, skills, knowledge to take forward a project or to develop a person.

Of the four words – Cost -Value – Worth – Investment, I like Investment the most as it is perhaps the easiest to deploy in a non-monetary manner.

Let us make better use of our language, better use of ourselves and as a result avoid thinking and talking about cost, cast this matter aside and believe in other things.

Let us bring Value, Worth and Investment all together and ask where can we add Value and increase our Worth to others by investing something, other than money, in one or more of the following people, charitable endeavours and/or community work?

Thank you for reading and if I have given you cause to think please leave a comment.

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