Nothing Is Free

8 11 2012

The other day I was with my son at a store. As we came up to the counter there was a bowl of mints for the taking. When I turned around to look at him he had one handful of tasty treats and was reaching up to fill his other hand. At this point I told him to stop and take only one. Next is our conversation that took place.

“But Dad, they’re free!”

“Nothing is free, somebody has to pay for them.”

“But dad, I don’t have to pay for them Dad.”

“Aidan, If you take more than you need then there will not be enough for others to enjoy. And if you abuse the “free stuff” pretty soon the people who are offering it will stop.”

This was such a great conversation and one of many hundreds of teachable moments that happen with me and my children over the course of a week. He got it! An eight year old understood this concept yet I can’t quite seem to get it across to people more advanced in years.

As I watch the political lanscape being laid out I think of how often I see the word “free” being thrown around as to the services that the government will provide. Next time you see the word I hope you think of the lesson my son learned and know that nothing is free, someone has to pay for it. The only difference between the store owner’s mints and many (not all) government services (handouts) is that one of them provided it voluntarily.

Steve Leurquin

 

 

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23 responses

26 11 2012
Kevin Knuteson

Great post Steve. I actually saw a gas station near Waunakee that had these same mints for sale. He said they used to be free but people took handfulls at a time. Now they charge 5 or 10 cents a pop!

26 11 2012
steveleurquin1

No Kidding! Crazy!

14 11 2012
kristen seidl

Amen Steve! Great example and story!

12 11 2012
Shawn Brown

I love the teachable moments. A great way to make a difference. HMM Candy

12 11 2012
Teesa Rossman

Great explanation. I love seeing parents set their kids up for true greatness.

11 11 2012
Dayna Wilkerson

Thank you for sharing this teachable moment Steve! It is a blessing to know men such as yourself and others are teaching these principles to children. It is exciting to see how when young children and adults begin accepting these truths in their life and living on principle, how much of an impact we can make in this world!
God Bless!

9 11 2012
steveleurquin1

Well then, I agree with with your comment. Like cracking in sheepshead!

9 11 2012
Steve Sager

I love how you handled this….. you gave him a perspective that made him “think” about the whole concept of economics with out boring him .. too bad our government doesn’t do the same πŸ™‚

9 11 2012
steveleurquin1

And it had to do with candy! Much easier to hold a young one’s attention when you’re dealing with candy!

8 11 2012
Ryan Blakely

Wow, thanks Steve for this post! The teachings of thinking of others before yourself, also what will be the long term consequences if i do this even once. Reminds me of a great book by Jeff Olson ” The Slight Edge.” Even the smallest things compounded over time can have an extreme outcome. Thanks!

9 11 2012
steveleurquin1

Oh the power of thinking. If only more people did it.

10 11 2012
adamrossman

Lol!

10 11 2012
adamrossman

That is a GREAT book, Ryan! Its fun watching you apply the principles in it and getting great results in life. I can’t wait to see the impact you are going to make in this world when you get free!!

8 11 2012
Leadership and LIFE

Thank you for the simple yet powerful economic lesson today Steve!

9 11 2012
steveleurquin1

You bet!

8 11 2012
adamrossman

Thanks for breaking this down in a way that is so basic that we can all understand (some of us (me) need the basics!) The example with the mints is also a great example of how we have the chance to influence our kids and get their foundational thinking straight, so they can see the big picture through the same lenses.

Thanks for being a great example for all of us!

9 11 2012
steveleurquin1

Ahh! The Power of mints!

8 11 2012
Greg Streuly

Thank you…I’ll be stealing this illustration in the neat future πŸ™‚

9 11 2012
steveleurquin1

Teach those young ones Greg. Teach away!

8 11 2012
Bryan Kemp

Wow, what a great reminder to all of us! How easy it can be to take things for granted. Thanks for the post Steve, I can’t wait till I can have those teachable moments with my boy in the middle of a work day. You are an excellent leader always setting a great example!

9 11 2012
steveleurquin1

The best time for teaching seems to happen when a parent can slow down and take their time with their young spuds. On the weekend everything seems to be happening so fast.

10 11 2012
adamrossman

Bryan, I know you will play a huge part in influencing the next generation!!

8 11 2012
rjfisher1

Great illustration – agreed!

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