The Best Things in Life Are Free. Once sang Janet Jackson and the late, great Luther Vandross. I just listened to that song for the first time and I must say, that really is… four minutes of my life I aint getting back. I question the paradigm of this God-awful ‘90s disco rap headache. The premise is that love is free and it’s the best thing in life. But something that isn’t ‘good’ 100% of the time cannot be considered the ‘best thing in life’. Love is only good, what, 60% of the time? So if 60% of love is good, but 100% of chocolate is good, then that means the best thing in life overall is chocolate, which costs money, meaning the best thing in life isn’t free. Of course, some people will say that love is good 100% of the time, but I don’t really care what hippies think…
Surely, the best things in life aren’t free. Education, food, drink and shelter. Others would say that friendship, kissing, cuddling and our senses are free, but others would say they’re not ‘things’. They are who we are as participants of the human race. But I don’t subscribe to this thinking. I’ve never had a friend, I’ve never kissed anyone and I hate people touching me. And I’m perfectly happy and healthy. And as for my senses? Well, sure, I love photography and my senses are a big part of that, but they are necessities and necessities don’t count. They aren’t part of the ‘best things in life are free’ idiom. ‘Breathing’ isn’t the best thing in life because it’s free, it’s a necessity. Whereas ‘love’ isn’t a necessity. It’s an experience completely extraneous to the survival of the human race, our primary function.
We don’t live in a free world. Everything has a price. We pay for life with blood, sweat and tears. Life is a daily grind of unending misery. And yes, what some would say makes them happy is the loving embrace of a partner. But to others, like me, what makes me happy is my photography, and trust me, that was far from free. Nothing makes me happier than that, a material good. It’s above all else in my life.
I’m not saying that cuddles, relationships, walks in the countryside, et al, aren’t important, only that happiness is subjective. What one deems to be the best of life is the worst of life for someone else. I would, genuinely, rather hug a lamppost than have someone touch me. And that lamppost wasn’t free. If anything, I paid for it through taxes – it’s worthy of a hug because it provides me with light, whereas my baby cousins like to hug me for reasons I still haven’t figured out. In fact, the more you think about it, the more you realise that very little is actually free. For example, healthcare in the UK isn’t – we have to pay for medication and dental care. So is it actually possible to answer the titular question?
I guess it depends on who you are. Some would say that cuddles make them happier than anything else does, cuddles are free, therefore the best thing in life, for that person, is free. But as for me, my camera makes me happier than anything else does, it cost many hundreds of pounds, therefore the best thing in life, for me, wasn’t free. It’s subjective.
Are the best things in life free? It depends entirely on who you are and what you want from life.
So what about you, readers? Are the best things in life, for you, free?
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The Indelible Life of Me
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Hark Around the Words
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