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Trash-talkin’ the .925

January 17, 2014

It is said that in King Solomon’s time silver was so plentiful that it became as common as stones and was counted as nearly worthless.  You could find it lying in the street and nobody would bother to pick it up.

Today silver goes for about $20 a troy ounce, which is a little more than the common measurement of weight we call an ounce.

I don’t know about you, but if I saw a $20 bill lying in the street, I’d pick it up.  But only because I understand that a $20 bill has value.

The weird thing is that the $20 bill is just a piece of paper with some ink on it.  It’s not worth $20 in and of itself.  But still, when I look down and see Andrew Jackson’s wooly eyebrows waving up at me, I know that it represents a value that I can cash in anywhere in the United States.   I don’t sniff and say “that’s just a piece of paper!” and walk by.  It goes in my pocket, pronto.  And then I give trade it for some stuff at Amazon, or maybe some sushi.

But value is about more than money.  And sometimes it’s difficult to recognize value because it doesn’t look marketable, or because the uncommon appears common when viewed through the wrong lens.

Valuable things can be messy.  And fragile.  And high-maintenance.  They can demand your attention and eat up your resources.  Sometimes they’re even dangerous.

The truth is, if you’re going to have valuable things, you get to choose how you’re going to steward them.  You’re in charge of how much honor and worth you’ll assign them, and how much of yourself and your resources you’ll sacrifice on their behalf.

But should you decide you’re going to ditch your silver, feel free to come throw it in my yard.  I’ll take it from there…



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