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Thomas Paine

In: English and Literature

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Prompt: According to Thomas Paine, “That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives everything its value.” Early in my life, I was taught to work for what I have and to have what I work for. I was taught if I did not earn what I have that it would be less appreciated in the end. My grandfather taught me early that a chore completed would be worth its weight in wages beyond a monetary value. I learned early that I should appreciate what God blesses me with and that I should earn those blessings. If I should sit by and the blessings keep mounting up without any effort on my behalf would I appreciate them at their worth? This was one of my most valuable learning’s in life. There are several television shows I sometimes stop to watch when I am scanning the channels for something of interest. These shows paint the pictures of what I consider to be wealth that was obtained easily and esteemed too lightly. We see in some of these episodes where individuals and couples squander through millions of dollars in short periods of times. They find themselves bankrupt and in more turmoil than when they did not have the extravagant means upon winning a lottery. If these individuals had worked hard for their money it would have meant more to them. Earning their means could have prevented them from squandering through millions of dollars. I know a young man who lost his parent tragically when he was ten years old. He inherited a very large sum of money. The inheritance was not set up in a trust fund that required him to wait until he had learned life’s values of earning what you have. This young man received his inheritance at the tender age of 18 with the only requirement being that he graduates high school to be eligible to collect this inheritance. Upon turning 18, he went on lavish vacations, purchased a new truck, boat and a motorcycle. He squandered through a million dollars in a twelve month period. This supports Paine’s theory of esteeming too lightly what is obtained too lightly. I am acquainted with a gentleman who inherited a company worth over fifty million dollars. His father passed away when he was 16. His father prepared for the son’s future well before he passed away. There was a trust fund set up to pay for his son’s four college education. It would only release funds necessary to sustain a modest living until he reached the age of 30. He was required to work at every location the company has in North America. It required him finance a vehicle and home between the ages 25 and 29 paying for them with what he earned throughout the company. His father wanted him to work and earn his living before entrusting him with his wealth. This young man is now 40 years old and is running the company. This supports Paine’s theory of dearness and value of what one work for. I to believe in what Paine spoke of when he stated, “That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives everything its value.” I believe one should earn what they have and have what they earn. If it comes easily it is taken for granted and has less value. When an individual works and earns what they have in life there is a much greater gratitude for what they have. They are more thankful and take better care of what has been earned that what could have been given to them. They count their blessings instead of feeling they are owed something for nothing.

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