Fire-destroyed landmark building  Round Wall Clock Baby Headstone IMG_2806

In Marvin Williams’ devotional about the price of getting what we think we want, he begins by giving examples of some unbelievable things.  Here are two: ~ for $90 a night, a person can buy a cell upgrade in some prisons; ~ or for $250,000.00, if you know the people to pay, you can buy the right to shoot an endangered black rhino.

There is a flip side to every coin, however. If money CAN buy those things, what things CAN’T money buy? Here are a few things I thought of:   respect, common sense, world peace, true love, lost memories, and the cure for Alzheimer’s, though this is one place where additional funding would help the research…and it would also be a much better investment than bagging an endangered black rhino.

Look at the pictures above for three more things money can’t buy: extra hours in the day; the ability to turn back time and prevent a fire or other tragedy; and this one, especially ~ ask any woman who has lost a baby how much money it would take to fill the void in her heart.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Money often costs too much.” Fill in the “prices” you’ve paid to have money and see if you agree.

On a lighter note, February 8 begins “Love Makes the World Go Round, But Laughter Keeps Us From Getting Dizzy” week. To jump-start the week, the day of February 8 is “Laugh and Get Rich” day. Interpret this as you will, but poet E.E. Cummings can get you started: “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”

On February 8, find something that makes you so happy that you laugh out loud, from deep in your belly. Better yet, find someone to laugh with. Not AT, but WITH. This is just my opinion, but I’m pretty sure it will make you happier than shooting an endangered rhino, or paying $90 a night to upgrade your prison cell when you get caught.

And if you do get caught shooting a rhino or doing anything illegal, look on the bright side; you can always make the most of February 13’s “Blame It On Someone Else” day.

"Earth laughs in flowers." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson   My mother carried Lillies of the Valley at her wedding to celebrate the happiness of the day.

“Earth laughs in flowers.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson.       My mother carried Lillies of the Valley at her wedding to celebrate the happiness of the day.

"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are every where."  ~Dr. Seuss

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.” ~Dr. Seuss



Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, gardening, lessons about life, life questions, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Spiritual connections

70 responses to “DOLLARS AND SENSE

  1. I can think of one thing that money can’t buy and that is happiness.
    Laughing is such good medicine and it is definetly better than shooting a rhino.
    Marilyn , thank you for another thought provoking post. I wonder what kind of upgrade you get in prison for 90 dollars?

  2. My guess is it’s either a private cell or one with a non-violet cell-mate. 😉
    But if you were in prison for slaughtering an endangered species animal, you’d better hope they didn’t put you in a cell with an animal rights activist.
    I agree about the money can’t buy happiness, Gerlinde, or at least not true happiness.
    I once heard a stand-up comedian say that money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a better class of fake friends to be miserable with. (And that’s my attempt to provide a laugh.) 😉

  3. Sounds like Feb 8th is one to enjoy. Nothing better than laughing with friends, good old belly laughs.Anyone with a quarter mil to spend to shoot a black rhino has two problems, Too much money and no conscience.Anyone caught doing that should be fined at least a million and asked if they’d like to be an endangered species because I’ll take shots at them for free.
    xxx Massive Hugs Marylin xxx

    • You said it so eloquently, David, and I think many hunters would join you in going after poachers and the “hire kills” of endangered species.
      Feb. 8th is definitely the day to embrace. Massive Hugs to you tomorrow, and all week.

  4. Well 8th Feb is a family birthday and we will be apart. But we will use the miracle of Skype to talk, laugh and be happy with daughter number 2. We will not be shooting rhinos.

  5. I like the sound of February 8; can hear the laughter already. There may not be a cure for Alzheimers, nor any easy answers but I loved watching this youtube clip on the documentary “I remember better when I paint.” Were you lucky enough to see the documentary when it screened last year on PBS?

    • Gallivanta, you’ve done it again, hooking me up with a link I hadn’t found. Thank you so very much. I’ve seen and enjoyed several youtubes on music’s special access for Alzheimer’s and dementia, and this one on painting is a wonderful companion piece. You are becoming my go-to person of helpful information, and I am very grateful!

      • Do tell me if you ever get to see the full doco. It may eventually come online as many PBS docos do, which means I will be able to view it. It made me want to go and find a student to help me paint. Not that I have Alzheimers but simply to reawaken that part of my brain which is apparently the one we hang on to for the longest.

      • I will let you know, Gallivanta. Painting, drawing, even using crayons on brown paper bags–it’s all good for the memory, and for the happiness factor.

  6. Hi Marylin, Great post. I love your take on the things that money can’t buy, and the theme for February the 8th. It should be the theme for every day. Laughter does enrich lives in many ways.
    Tomorrow is my friend’s birthday. We have already celebrated it together with lots of laughs. But tomorrow I will be celebrating my daughter’s birthday (hers is on the 9th) with all my offspring and their partners (2 children, 2 partners, 2 grandchildren, hubby and me). We always have lots of laughs and our lives are enriched by each and every one! 🙂

  7. I love your list of things that money cannot buy. 🙂

    • And your recent post about the divorce and getting rid of the stresses of the business, Elizabeth, is a good reminder of the problems money–or the problems around it–can cause. Make the most of Feb. 8’s “Laugh and Be Rich” day! 🙂

  8. A deep belly laugh every day, is good for the spirit. Great list of things money can’t buy, Marilyn. Another thing money can’t buy are memories, we must create those each day.

  9. What a great prelude to Valentine’s Day. This week I have been enjoying time at a retreat with writer friends/bloggers I’ve made online – priceless! Like Jill mentioned, memories will be my best souvenirs of this trip. – And a boost from more advanced writers too.

    This post is a great reminder of the zaniness (really I mean craziness) of some people’s thinking – great quotes too as always.

    • Writers’ retreats are wonderful, aren’t they, Marian! Especially the ones with friends, and it sounds like your retreat was superb. Write these memories while they’re fresh in your mind, so you can read them later and enjoy them clearly again and again.

  10. The best laughter is laughter that brings tears to your eyes or to watch someone in such a fit which is sure to crack a smile or laughter, too. And as long as we’re remembering random days in February, Random Acts of Kindness Day is this Friday, Feb. 13. Money can buy valentine cards, chocolates and roses, but it can’t buy spontaneous kindness.

    • How did I miss that Friday, Feb. 13 is one of the Random Acts of Kindness Days, Georgette? Thank you for reminding me. It’s so much better than the “other” Friday 13th day, “Blame Someone Else.” 🙂

  11. Molly

    Wonderful blog story, Mom. This is a wonderful way to put things in perspective. The really important things don’t have a price tag, because they are priceless. Grace in her big bird costume is one of those priceless things! Today, although we are running around central Kansas to get our kids to their different events, it is priceless to see Grace improve her basketball skills and to hear Gannon sing with his honor choir. It is a blessed day!

    • And you and Trevor make such events into life celebrations with your children, honey, and it shows in their lives and yours. I have so many pictures of the kids as babies and toddlers in Halloween costumes, and even though we see you all every month, when I need a “happy fix” I pull out my pictures or hear their voices on the phone, making each connection a “Laugh and Be Rich” day. Love and hugs to you all.

  12. Yesterday we just stood and laughed as we watched the dogs running playing on the beach in “dog park”. Then we saw a Mexican family – mum dada and little boy – playing by the sea – a huge wave came up and they had to scramble to keep dry – they were all laughing – it was contagious.

  13. You are right about money not buying happiness, respect, etc Marylin. And I don’t think I’d ever want to shoot a black rhino.
    As I get older, I realize that HEALTH is something money cannot buy. Witness Steve Jobs and many other famous people who died from diseases or illnesses that even (I’m sure) the best doctors could not cure.
    I don’t take my health for granted these days!
    xo Joanne

    • Joanne, you are so right. Jobs is the perfect example. You know he had the best doctors and treatments, yet nothing could buy back his health. I don’t take good health for granted, either, not for myself or my family or my friends. And you and I are also on the same page about never shooting a black rhino, though I don’t think I’d stop anyone taking a shot at the gun-arm of someone who had paid to shoot any endangered species.

  14. Jim

    Another ‘priceless’ blog post, sweetie. Much to ponder. You are pretty amazing week after week. I think you are an expert on laughter. Every evening while you talk to daughter Molly on the phone, I hear many moments of your laughing with Molly “out loud, deep from the belly” about this and that thing that happened during the day. You two are quite a pair, and I think you keep each other healthy and wise.

    • Aw, honey, you are the one who used money wisely to buy us the “unlimited long distance” rate so Molly and I could have these wonderful, happy and helpful gab fests at any time, and we thank you with all our hearts…for that and so many things. And when we all get together, that’s when we all laugh and celebrate life.

  15. calvin

    Will give ya a poem, if you can guess the song I actually have playing in the background as I write this comment.

    My take on this… ‘who’da blame’. Well, you can’t blame money, no more than we can blame the Gods, Mother nature, good or bad Karma, ya·da ya·da. For me this about over compensating for a list of insecurities to lengthy to even mention. In short, feeling the pain for lacking control of life -blame shouldn’t even be in the same picture frame. If I did not have some sort of outlet to be creative I would be, and have been, well, literally ‘dead meat’. Again this is my take.

    You pumped my spirit with this compellation/compilation, Marylin Warner, you, Merci beaucou!

    • Merci beaucou right back atcha, Calvin! 🙂 Excellent comment.
      If this post pumped your spirit, I’m truly very glad. I admit that without some sort of creative outlet, I certainly would be lost. It doesn’t necessarily give me any sense of control over life, but it does give me moments of focus and a welling up of awe and answers and hope, and that keeps me “found” to myself.

  16. I love your special holidays, Marilyn. Your humorous connection to adding laughter to your life daily and the Blame it on someone else day does crack me up. I might just do that. Thanks for the giggle. 😉

  17. juliabarrett

    Perhaps the most wise post I’ve ever read. Money in no way makes the world go round. Yes, enough money can make life easier, but it can’t buy the most important things, the things that last.
    I love Lilies of the Valley – my grandmother had a huge patch. The fragrance is heavenly. She too carried Lilies of the Valley in her bridal bouquet.

    • I wonder if certain flowers were “in vogue” at certain times? The sweet fragrance of Lillies of the Valley must have made quite a lasting impression on Mom. I brought her a bunch last summer, and it’s the only bouquet that when she sniffed it, she smiled and said, “I know what those are!” It didn’t cost very much at all to bring her a special gift, and yet it made a big difference in her memory for a moment.

      • Claudia, thanks so very much for the heads up on the contest for writing great opening sentence(s). What fun this is, and I’ve shared it on Face Book as well as with everyone in my writing group.

  18. Claudia

    Great post. I have been lamenting with friends that we have no had belly laughs in long while. Used to do them. Now we smile, snicker or chuckle. Is belly laughing something you loose when you get older?

    • If we do lose it, Claudia, I think we somehow have to bring it back. There really is something freeing and energizing and encouraging about deep belly laughs. You’re right, now we settle for snickers, chuckles or little smiles, and those aren’t enough.

  19. Another excellent, thought-provoking post Marylin. I know I’m always wishing for more time. Time is our most valuable commodity. Thank you for mentioning black rhinos and their plight. Did you know? there are exactly 6 Northern White rhinos left in the world. Every time I think of that I am filled with disgust at how humanity’s greed and stupidity continue to obliterate entire species. When will we stop? I often wish everyone had the opportunity as I have had to go see these wonderful animals in the wild. At the rate the black rhino population is being decimated I doubt my sons will have the opportunity.

    • I didn’t know it was that dire, Yolanda, and now I’m even more furious that for a hefty fee someone can go on a “hire kill”–or would even want to do that–and you’re right, humanity’s greed and stupidity is horrendous.
      I hope you’ll write more and share your experiences seeing animals in the wild. As a wake-up call, but also so there are at least some memories to be shared.

  20. Money can certainly buy some evil things and it is a real shame some of those millions aren’t used to better purpose. But laughter is a good medicine Marylin, when the problems of the world seem too much 🙂

  21. Oh, Marylin, you are too rich and too deep for words.
    I ❤ you, seriously. I dearly hope we will meet this side of heaven.

  22. Marylin, when I read “$90 for cell upgrades” in prison, at first I thought you were referring to contraband cell phones! February is my favorite month because it’s the month of my son’s birth. What I’ve experienced and learned through 26 years of motherhood, no amount of money can buy.

    • I didn’t even think of cell phones, Darla, but that would be even more dangerous, wouldn’t it, allowing prisoners to have cell phones that allowed them to do all kinds of things and make connections. Think of what Al Capone could have done from prison if he’d had a cell phone–his dynasty would have been waiting for him!
      March is one of my favorite months for a similar reason…my daughter’s birthday. And what I’ve experienced and learned through 37 years of motherhood, and now 11 years of grandmotherhood, no amount of money could buy. We’re definitely on the same page, Darla.

  23. Friendship is priceless. No amount of money could replace or buy a good friend. Excellent post, Marylin 😄

    • Friendship really is priceless, Jenny. If money–or spending on someone –is what makes a friendship, then I don’t think it’s real. So many things are defined or disproved by money or the lack of it, don’t you think?

  24. Once again you’ve out done yourself, Marylin. If only the world could identify with the fact that money does indeed cost too much…it is heart breaking to think of the lost relationships as a result of striving for money – we see it in so many ways in the world around us – every day. Friendship, marriage, motherhood, health, faith, peace, joy – no price could ever be placed on any of them. XO

    • You’re right, Robyn. It’s not the money, but the striving after it–or being willing to do almost anything to get it–that costs too much. Hugs! Marylin
      p.s. I love your pictures of the dog. You have real talent to capture the images you do.

  25. February 8th is a fabulous day for it is the day I became a mother for the first time. Money can’t buy the happiness of being a mother. Money can’t buy the immense happiness of holding the gift of a child whom you nurtured inside of you for 9 months. Today I am laughing a lot WITH my family as we recollect childhood memories of our three children.:)

    Thanks for another beautiful post, Marilyn. Have a great week!

    • So today is your anniversary of the day you became a mom! How wonderful, and it’s also the perfect example of a day or an experience that no amount of money could buy. There’s nothing that adequately describes the moment we hold the precious little person who had previously been moving around, kicking at our ribs! Enjoy today and the family’s recollection of childhood memories! 🙂

  26. You are the monthly calendar girl who keeps me straight. Now I can laugh, blame it on someone else and act kindly all the same month. We can’t buy our way into heaven or buy peace of mind. A good belly laugh does help put things back into perspective from time to time. 🙂

    • Wow! I LOVE being a Calendar Girl, even if it’s just for unusual “days” of the month, Lynne! And you’re so right about us not being able to buy our way into heaven.
      A friend corrected me when I said money couldn’t buy peace of mind, that when you have an adult child with Down’s Syndrome, setting aside a trust fund with enough money to care for your child after you’re gone really is peace of mind. It reminded me of the many good uses of money. I always learn so many perspectives from this blog.

  27. jakesprinter

    Truly inspiring and priceless words Marylin 🙂

  28. Oh I love this post Marylin! Laughter truly is the best medicine and it’s free!!! We celebrated a friend’s birthday Sunday night. Got a fit of the giggles and that was it, we laughed so much that I thought my ribs would break. You know Marylin, that is the best laugh I’ve had in so long and oh what good it did after so much stress of late. Reading your wondefully positive and uplifting post this morning reminds me of all that is truly important in life…and as for paying money to shoot a black rhino, I would pay good money…to string up anyone that would want to do that. But I’ll stick to finding free ways to enjoy life, in the ways that truly matter…all the while knowing that I can always blame someone else if needs be, ha!

    • Now you have me laughing–in genuine delight–you’d pay good money to string up anyone who would pay money to shoot a black rhino!
      And I do totally understand, Sherri, the healing and helpfulness and joyous laughter you describe having last weekend. Nothing offsets stress or sorrow or sadness or illness or boredom than hearty laughter. And THEN we’re strong enough to go out and string up the shooters of black rhinos! 😉

  29. I really enjoyed this well written post, Marylin. It had all kinds of thought provoking things in it, quotes and what can’t money buy? I am so glad you mentioned some priceless items, worth more than money itself. I thought of time as someone else mentioned, love you mentioned and I realize Life is not able to be extended or bought. We have the reminder you gave us about diseases which have no cures, until further money can possibly pay for research and scientists’ solutions someday, I hope will come about. I am smiling at the quote by E.E. Cummings. I won’t waste this one, smiling at your post and wishing to giggle with Sesame Street’s Big Bird. Hope you are well and smiling, too!

    • Thank you so much, Robin; I love the summary of the comments that mean the most to you. I’m always amazed by the responses and additional insights, and like you, I smile at the Cummings quote and get all giggly at my granddaughter in the Big Bird costume. Life is good!

  30. Jane Thorne

    Such a bright post Marylin. Love and laughter are both priceless in my world. Much ❤ to you and your loved ones, especially your lovely Mum. Xxx

    • You always send love to my “mum” and that is so sweet, Jane. I tell her about the people all over the world that send her hugs and love and best wishes. She used to smile and say, “Do I know them?” and ask where they live, but now her memory is so far gone that it doesn’t register. But it still means so much to me, Jane. Thank you.

  31. jakesprinter

    Another very inspiring post once again Marylin …Well actually yes the truth is we all need money while the another truth is we cannot bring them in the grave when we die …lol.

  32. In France on May first, it is the custom to give bouquets of Muget or Lilies of the Valley to special people in your life. I did a blog post about it a few years ago and it is one of the many things about France I adore.
    When I give those flowers to the people I do, is it their pleasure in receiving or the high I get from their smiles? Perhaps a bit of both?

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