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Jewish World Review Nov. 22, 1999 /13 Kislev, 5760

Greg Crosby

Greg Crosby
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The Best Money Can’t Buy -- THIS MORNING I awoke from a wonderful night’s sleep. Not just a good night’s sleep, it was one of those completely satisfying sleeps -- extremely rare and difficult to explain, but if you’ve ever had one you know what I’m taking about. In the first few seconds of awakening, I laid on my pillow and actually savored the moment.

No amount of riches could buy a better night’s sleep. As sappy as this sounds, that was the first thought that crossed my mind when I awoke. I truly appreciated my blissful hours of repose. It was like a gift from heaven. Interesting to think that Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Ted Turner or any other gazillionaire you care to mention, really couldn’t have had a more gratifying, fulfilling night of slumber than I did last night. The best sleep money can’t buy.

That started me thinking of other pleasures that can be experienced at no cost or very minimal cost and which are so often taken for granted. Like a long drink of cold water on a hot day when you’re really thirsty. Or a warm relaxing bath when you’re bone tired or mentally exhausted.

Remember your first real kiss --- can you put a price tag on that? What could you buy that could compare with a baby’s smile? Or the companionship of a faithful and loving pet --- or the laughter of children at play --- or the clean, crisp smell of mountain air, or the first cold snap of late Autumn? Just like the old song, “The Best Things in Life Are Free”

Did you ever eat a meal that not only filled your belly and satisfied your taste buds, but replenished your soul? Ever spend a winter’s evening in the cozy company of good friends? Have you felt the warmth of the sun on your face on a March morning? Try buying that at Macy’s. Not even Neiman Marcus stocks it.

What could be better than listening to your favorite “unwinding” music or watching a good old fashioned movie? Or sharing the beauty of a sunset with a loved one? These are quiet delights -- subtle pleasures. I hope this stuff doesn’t sound too corny in today’s unsubtle and loud world. I wonder if the new generation can appreciate some of these things. I hope so.

We’re told we need the latest model of car, or television or computer to be happy, but it’s a sham. That’s all phony make-believe pleasure. It never lasts for long, either. No sooner do we get these things, than we’re looking to replace them with a newer car, or a bigger television screen or an updated state-of-the-art computer. Like a drug, in order to get satisfaction we require more of the addictive substance all the time. We need bigger and better toys to play with on a regular basis.

This is not to say that money isn’t important. Money can help feed and clothe and give shelter to those who are truly in need. Money can buy the best medical treatments, the best doctors and the finest hospitals when we’re sick. If we get into legal troubles, money can help us secure top notch attorneys. Money can buy the best caretakers and nursing facilities when we become old and unable to care for ourselves. Money is neither all good nor all bad -- it’s just a necessity of life which can be used to do good things or can be abused.

I suppose having no money worries can give a certain peace of mind which will enable one to relax and have a good night’s rest. But no amount of money -- none -- can ever buy that wonderful, particularly restful night’s sleep that I experienced last night.


JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.


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10/29/99: When my wife was young and Gay
10/22/99: Too Late for Dinner
10/15/99: Pondering, Musing and Supposing
10/05/99: A Message From Your Journalistic Human Interest Commentator
09/24/99: The Getting Away With It Decade
09/17/99: The Scoop of the Century
09/09/99: Important Millennium Advisory
09/03/99: Ask Mr. Politically Correct Man
08/26/99: Broadcasters, Please mind Your Manners
08/19/99: The Golden Age of Jerkdom
08/12/99: Dressing Down...and Out

©1999, Greg Crosby