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Tuesday Tidbits :: On Value

'Value' is one of those things that's not easy to define. It can mean different things to different people.

When it comes to price, the word 'Value' is not necessarily synonymous with 'quality'. An eye cream (or a pair of jeans or a car) may cost more but that doesn't automatically mean it is more 'valuable' than its competitor. What is is that makes one 'better' than another and does that justify a higher cost or are there other similar products that cost less but are just as good? Add to that the fact that with something like eye cream, for example, there might be one that is more expensive and does an excellent job for one person while a lower priced option may work better for another person.

Many times, 'Value' refers to something completely different than cost. Sometimes, it refers to sentimentality. When that's the issue, the Value of an item may be extremely high for its owner but mean nothing to a bystander.

This has become very evident to me as I began the packing process to move to another (smaller) house. Several of my friends who know the amount of 'stuff' we have are quick to dismiss some of my household items by saying, "Just get rid of it." But, many of these items are generations old and have a Value that transcends the monetary. Try telling that to my husband when discussing something of his mother's when she passed away just over two years ago. The wounds are fresh, the memories strong and the will to discard is non-existent.

If this means that we will have to keep a storage unit until the time we are ready to part with such items, that's fine. It would not feel right to throw things like this out (or even sell them) right now. There will be a time for this. Right now, I delight in seeing the children's tea set that was my mother-in-law's when she was a child and the War Ration Bonds that belonged to my grandparents. Because, who's to say what their value is but us?

There's nothing wrong with scaling down but I won't do it at the expense of sentimentality. And, it is up to us to judge the Value of these items. It's okay if no one else understands. We do. That's all that matters right now.

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