Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Apr 1, 2009

Too Much Freebies Are Not Always Good

Filed under: Materialist culture — admin @ 12:11 am

Last Friday, I took my daughter to a buffet, only on her birthday. Normally I am against eating buffet because of the potential to overeat and its possible undesirable consequence. This prompted me to think again of this concept of free.

First, you tend to eat more at buffet because it is perceived as “free” for the given amount of money. I never have good feelings after too much indulgence in food– feeling of guilt, of being wasteful, shame of lacking of self-control. I seem to be punished in more than one ways — physical discomfort with overblown tummy and mentally with self-inflicted guilty feeling.

Second, in fact by your second serving, you don’t enjoy it as much as your first serving. Let me put it this way — a chocolate candy tastes sweetest when you have only one per day or per week, but the taste decreases as you have more. Imagine how you feel by the time you can have unlimited chocolate candies. When you don’t appreciate your food and you still cannot stop eating, you are in reality doing nothing but wasting food. Same can be said of anything that is “free,” like free coffee, creme and sugar in your office.

Third, we no longer value anything that we think it free. Many children quickly lose interest in toys bought by their parents because they have too plenty of them and also things from their parents are like freebies, costing them zero cent. When both of my children were young, I used to give them the money and let them decide if they wanted to keep the money or buy the toys or hold the party. They often ended up keeping the money. When without any choice, they would stand firm on having whatever toys they had in mind.

It reminds of the old medical system in China. I don’t have the detail but I do remember the huge waste back then mainly because everything seemed to be free, taken care of by the work place that you belonged to.

Too much Freebies are not always good, from “free” toys coming from Santa or parents to free bonus for AIG’s big bellies — huge waste of all kind of resource. In fact, I cannot think of anything good about anything free. Can you?

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