The things money cannot buy

for how much?

For several days now, this song about wanting to be a billionaire (so freaking bad) has been playing over and over in my head.  And so yesterday, it got me thinking about the things that I KNOW I will spend money on if, by any chance, I become a billionaire.  The idea was to blog about it.  Come up with a list and share it with fellow bloggers — and even invite blog friends to share their thoughts on how they intend to spend their billions. 

Everything comes with a price tag. 

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This morning, as I was drawing up a list in my mind, I couldn’t help but realize that there ARE indeed things that money cannot buy.  We have heard about the lines “Money can’t buy happiness,” and “Can’t buy me love” numerous times.  The great Beatles even wrote a song about the latter.  But other than happiness and love, I came up with other things that surprisingly cannot be bought.  

So I decided to shelve the Supergoddess shopping list first to dwell on…  

The things that money cannot buy:  

length vs width

1)  Height. We know that there are so many products out there that claim they “can make you slimmer in just so and so days.”  You may choose between popping slimming pills, buying a treadmill or even that Total Core equipment (that I so intend to buy).  Or you may go to a slimming spa where they will use all these gadgets on you “to break the fat.”  If you have the funds and the courage, you can go under the knife — have a tummy tuck or a lipo.  

Yes, if you have the means, you can buy your way to a sexier you.  Yet I don’t think I ever came across something that can make you taller “in just seven days.”  At some point, each of us stops growing.  And that’s it.  You can’t add or lose inches (in height) depending on your food intake — unlike how one’s weight can easily go up and down.  You can’t be 5’3” today and be supermodel tall tomorrow. 

Of course you can always wear heels, but that’s simply not the point.  Sans tall shoes, once you’ve reached your maximum height that the creator intended you to have, then that’s it.  Unless someone invents a stretching machine that can pull you vertically so you can add an inch or two (… but why would anyone want to do that?)   

2)  Time. I believe even the brilliant minds will agree with me on this.  There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week… and so on and so forth, in our world.  No amount of money can make you add more hours to your day.  We can’t buy more, nor can we buy back the time that was lost. We are pretty much constrained by what we have.  Best that we make good and full use of it. 

3)  Sheer Talent.  Some people are just born with it.  There are people who excel in various activities even without formal training.  Whether it is in the field of arts (like painting, singing, acting), academics (can mentally compute mathematical equations) or sports, there are people who were born gifted.  

Yes, we can pay for trainings and lessons, but the giftedness cannot be bought.  It was given.  Maybe that’s why it’s called a gift. 

watch the swagger

4) Confidence.  Admit it, some people were born timid and shy, while there are others who were born confident.  You can see it in the way they walk and talk.  You can see it in the person’s swagger. 

Of course it helps knowing that you have money in your pocket.  It somewhat gives one a sense of security, but it is not an assurance for self-confidence.  For some people, mustering enough confidence to speak in public is something that they really need to work on.  It’s not something that can easily be bought, basically because it comes from within. 

5)  Manners and Etiquette.  We can buy books on manners and etiquette.  We can go to all the personality development trainings and seminars.   But if we don’t internalize what we have learned, or we don’t apply in our lives the things that we were taught, then the whole practice will prove to be futile.  

You can have a successful social life! | Awful Library Books

Little Miss Manners

Regardless of how much money one has or was born into, if that person was not taught manners from day one, it will show in his daily ways – how he treats people, how he interacts, how he reacts under pressure.  You can pay for the training, but your actions and reactions are your own. 

6)  Respect.  I think it’s self-explanatory.  You cannot buy respect.  You earn it.  Bribing someone to respect you will make him NOT respect you all the more. 

7)  Inner peace.  I believe that no amount of money – whether in dollars, euro or whatever currency can guarantee one’s serenity and inner peace.  It takes a clear conscience.    It takes the knowledge that you have not wronged anybody and you are living a guilt-free life.  

Some people have loads of riches, yet are unhappy or are suffering from internal chaos.  There are others who live by the day, yet still have peace and joy.  

good times can't be bought

8)  Memories.  The time you spend with people you love, the big or little things that you do for yourself (or for others)… the smiles, laughter, even tears that you experienced…  all these are imprinted in your mind – and heart.  And we have these as we live day by day by day.  We can’t go to a store and say, “I want to buy this memory.”  

Memories are made, not bought.  It is really up to us to make good ones. 

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Contrary to my statement above, not everything comes with a price tag.  And when you really think about it, the things that don’t, somehow matter even more. 

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photo credits: price tag via google images ; other photos via

Little hands touching the heart

I was fixing my files earlier when i came across a bunch of papers with doodles and sketches… and then I saw one of the first love notes that my boy gave me when he was still very little.  My heart can’t help but skip a bit. 

picture perfect

I can’t help but ask, where has time gone?    It seems not too long ago when I was just teaching my son how to write and draw… I used to sing him all the nursery songs i knew and i used to recite the poems i wanted him to learn.  Our nightly rituals included me reading him a book and the two of us singing songs before going to sleep.  I used to hold his little hands a lot and he used to give me lots and lots of big hugs, shower my face with wet kisses. And he used to give me all these notes and doodles and sketches…

Now he’s eleven.  Not a baby anymore, yet not exactly a teenager, too.  He is at the stage where he asks for some space, yet still wants to see me watching over him from afar.  Unlike the times when he would be proud to be seen with mommy, now hugging mommy in public is just so uncool.  Sometimes he answers back like an adult and thinks he can get away with it… then comes back to ask for my help on something. 

When i watch him as he sleeps at night, I can’t help but marvel at how he has grown, right in front of my eyes, without me really realizing it.  To me he is still the baby that I carried and sang lullabies to.  He is still the little boy who gave me cute little love notes… the same one who would extend his little hand so we can walk hand in hand whenever we are out.

Despite me being a full-time, hands on mom, i still don’t think that the time I spend with him is ever enough.  I want to make the most of our moments together because I know that sooner or later, he will have his own life, and he won’t be needing much of me.  At some point, I would really have to let go so he can live his life, grow as his own person.

Time flies so fast.  Children grow up fast.  Sometimes we have to remind ourselves just that.  Our babies are not babies forever…though in our hearts they always will be.   We have to make the most of the time we share together… the time when we can teach them, nurture them, and love them.  

Lest we forget, the joy that our child brings to our lives simply can never be compared with anything else.  The overwhelming love that tugs our hearts is indescribable.  It’s priceless. 

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photo credit: Picture perfect drawing of me from my Superson (from 5-6 years back)

On giving…

Yesterday I learned a very valuable lesson.

When you give and not expect anything in return… when you reach out to strangers without counting what you will gain– or if you will gain anything at all… When you give a part of yourself, just because you know there are others in need and you have something to give…

Everything comes back to you, one way or the other.  Somehow the value of the material thing that you gave away will never measure up to the joy that you will get back.

A lot of times i ask myself what my purpose in life is.  Yesterday, i was reminded that every good thing I do does not go unnoticed…

  â—â—‹â—â—‹ on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The joy of giving… priceless.




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