The Price

A small reminder for those who want to remember

The price.

Everything in life has a price. A t-shirt, a hair cut, a belief.

The free culture does not exist. Giving exists but that’s another concept for another more sunny day to talk about.

The « Buy one , get one for free » does not exist. The illusion does though. This is what marketeers and advertising agencies get paid for: the fabrication of illusion. I have been there, i did it, I love it and i do still have some nostalgia. I don’t abandon it. I don’t regret it. I miss it and kiss it. But still, we don’t get the second item for free, like any other chance in life, we just get convinced that we were not already paying TWO much for one item in the first place. We swallow it and we walk.

« Use social media for free » also does not exist. The content we create as users requires our time and knowledge to say the least about it. Social networks who happen to store all this huge data we generate around the clock, retrieve it, analyse it and report it to relevant stakeholders obviously can’t run all those functions and operations for free. The infrastructure, its sustainability and the talents working on it do not come for free. Our content is their sellable product to advertisers, opinion formers and governments.

Creepy a bit? Ok, think positive: It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Want to go one step further? Think rational: it seems to be a win-win situation, yet, how much winning each is proportionally making?

Everything has a price. Questions are how much? Are we willing to pay it? can we afford it in the first place?

If someone belongs to a sales team in a company, they are expected to close sales. They get the salary because you close sales. If an organization needs a certain talent they need to afford it. There is a cost. And when we choose one thing, job, party, trip, dish, lover over another we are already paying. This is what we call in economics cost of opportunity.

Any human choice is associated with a cost.

Enduring has a price.

Love has a price

Family has a price

Joy has a price

A concert has a price

A human has a price. Yes : we humans are sellable universe furniture just like stars.

Everything has a price. The star twinkling up in the sky has a price. If you don’t close your eyes and abandon everything you won’t feel your cold warmness on your face.

And if you were thinking until you have read the last two lines about price only in its monetary representation then keep reading.

The confusion is coming for a good reason, so do not get too surprised by yourself. We were deceived. We were bombarded with two words for too long which corrupted our understanding to this basic value concept.

The words are : free and price.

The two words are beautiful in their own but they were associated to commodities. Life is not a commodity. Humans are not assets and definitely not spare parts.

I hear us frequently complaining, our words reveal our inner universes. We want:

A beautiful summer without a winter

Happiness without sadness

Knowledge without search

A democratic and free country without a revolution.

A revolution without a philosophy

We want and want

And we don’t want and we don’t want

Some selective choices are ok and even cute:

We want nature without mosquitos

We want delicious food without farming

Others are a bit selfish -including this text itself-:

We want humans who don’t complain.

But what might worth pausing and thinking is when we start to want humans

who don’t scream when in pain. Or who don’t say no when they don’t agree.

Sometimes it seems to me that we want humans with puzzles shapes, so that we can fit them in our already designed life.

We want our lives to be ONLY as we want them to be. We don’t want to change our lives for anyone or any reason but at the same time we want others to fit in. Implicitly, we expect others to change their lives for us, and sometimes we expect them to abandon their lives completely.

There is a reason i am writing this. It is summer not winter, but When there is a blue sky expect clouds. There is no linear world, there are no sharp cuts, there are no isolated nations, there is not only black and white, there are much much more and there are prices to be paid for the choices we make out of that variety. So enjoy paying the bill for what you have chosen and assess probably your capacity to pay for what you will chose.

Have a nice ‘suminter’!

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Bilal Zaiter

Bilal Zaiter

Writing makes life joyful. You will often find me playing at the digital humanities playground.