I'm borrowing Ken's theme today. I'm also borrowing his reasons.
The premise of a society that doesn't count is intriguing. Especially contrasting with our society where you are expected and encouraged to count, total and ever increase your wealth. If you have nothing, you are a burden.
Its from that vantage point that I wrote my comment to Ken's post. A society that doesn't count, wouldn't celebrate birthdays, at least not the way we do. It isn't that I hate getting old, and don't like being reminded of my age every year. I really don't care.
Its the whole premise around gift giving. Everyone asks "What do you want for your birthday?"
My answer, "nothing".
Why? Well I am successful enough that anything my relatives can afford to buy for me, I can afford to buy for myself. Anything that I would really like that I can't afford, they can't afford either. With everybody's birthdays throughout the year, we just keep exchanging gifts of roughly the same value. Maybe I am too cynical, but I'm wondering what is the point of gift giving?
I know, it's not the gift itself, its the thought. Well, you know what? Think harder. The thought means more than the gift representing it. Honestly, a card with a thoughtful sentiment means more to me than that $80 gift card.
My wife understanding me the way wives do, has settled on a particular gift for me.
I do enjoy smoking cigars. Why? Well, partly due to the intoxicating, calming effects of the nicotine.
But more to the point, the only time I get to smoke them is when the kids are already in bed. My wife can't stand the smell, so she finds something else to do.
So I get to sit on my lawn under the stars, cigar in one hand, glass of cognac in the other. Alone. For an hour. Sitting in peace in quiet contemplation.
That is the gift I actually receive. That is the gift I value most. Its monetary cost was quite low, but the value I attach is the highest of them all.