The American Crisis is a collection of articles written by Thomas Paine during the American Revolutionary War. In one of his essays, he wrote: “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods.”

Today, cheap acquisitions are very much the norm, with millions of cars, electronics and garments produced every day. Food and drug stores are on every street corner, with many open 24 hours. Even new relationships seem to be as easy as just liking or re-tweeting everyone and everything we see.

However, we are now also throwing food away at an alarming rate. Rather than repairing items that aren’t working like we once did, we now just buy another one. Sadly, ending a friendship these days is as simple as clicking a mouse.

It has become too easy to acquire more these days and with that, a “plenty of fish in the sea” attitude attached to almost everything we do.

Why work at repairing something when we can just replace it?

But is the sea a plenty?

From what I’ve read, our oceans today have more plastic swimming around in them than fish. The fertile soil and available land needed to grow more food diminishes daily and we’ve replaced that true sense of intimacy and connection with each other by being linked-in.

We have attached less value to our actions because it is just so easy to replace obstacles in our lives, rather than working through the problem or attempting to fix them.

The result is a planet (and society) that is in dire need of repair.

Unfortunately, this disposable attitude towards our stuff and each other is also being applied with ourselves, and garnering similar results.

Rather than taking the necessary time and effort to work through difficult times in our lives and address the hurt feelings we carry inside as they are happening, we find ways to simply replace them.

Alcohol, drugs, food, games, work, sleep, electronics, gossip, pick your poison, they’re all the same.

Each is readily available and in great supply. Although fleeting, for a while they take care of the problem and it goes away.

Yet, each time we make that choice, we hold how we feel about ourselves a little less dear.

We diminish our own value, and pretty soon, as is with our planet, we will find ourselves with a body that is full of pollution and in desperate need of repair.

To create and sustain a rewarding experience of life, it is important to accept the idea that our unresolved emotions won’t just go away on their own. It’s not a matter of if they will surface again, it’s a matter of when.

Facing our hurts, telling the truth and working through them is one way of holding ourselves dear. Each time we do, we increase our value inside while showing others, not telling them, that we matter.

We also subconsciously invite them to do the same for themselves.

We are all valuable and each of us truly matters. It’s time we started treating ourselves, and each other that way, and put a proper price upon our goods.

What are your thoughts? (comments below)


Sign up to receive your copy every 2nd Wednesday


  1. Jason S. says

    Well said! Thank you for the reminder.


  2. Deb says

    It should not surprise me by now, that your columns always offer a new insight to issues relevant and important to me – I look forward to reading each and every one. Thank you.


  3. dan t says

    great article! i liked how you spoke about our external issues (environment, consumerism) and reflected it with our internal well being.


  4. Richard lyle Barlow says

    Tim, I daily become more proud of you and what you write. There is always a strong message. Often these messages hit home to the point of discomfort, but forcing us to be introspective is what you are all about. I look forward to the day when your wisdom is available to the larger audience it deserves.


What do you think