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PERSPECTIVES – Value – Try A New Angle

October 2012

Understanding value exchange is simple. I do something for you, and in exchange, you do something for me. In the event that we don’t have anything of equal value that we can exchange with each another, then we use money. As the saying goes, “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.”

My goal is to have readers understand my visionary thought process that work is not about the money; it’s about value exchange. The definitions in this article were taken from Merriam-Webster dictionary and provide a distinct information to the message I’m trying to convey.

For example, I purchase a piece of sheet metal that has a value by itself. Then apply the skill and equipment to fabricate an enclosure box, which now has a greater value than what I began with. The finished product is sold to the customer for what their perceived value of its worth is.

The customer adds to the enclosure box by possibly installing electronics, thus further increasing the value of what it once was. Even though this example is one where currency is exchanged, it provides an understanding of my point.

One example of value exchange where money is not exchanged is in-kind donations made such as donating goods, time, professional services, etc. I’ve contributed my time and professional fabricating services with values of up to $20,000.00 without receiving a single cent.

The importance in doing this type of service is three-fold. I receive recognition for the contribution, the organization has a long-lasting quality product they are proud of, and the community is enhanced. Value exchange provides a basis for understanding and serving others. You rise above the experiences and embellish the community as a whole.

Why do we work?

We work because we need to survive. To survive we have to do something that others perceive has a value. How do we choose a career? Some of us find something that we’re passionate about and pursue that interest. Whether we are welders or lawyers, we need others to view the services we have to offer as a value. As a representation of that value we are most commonly paid with money.

When money is used as a measurement to define success, greed becomes that natural by-product. As society evolves, so do shifts in our paradigms. We look for ways of making products that were unheard of twenty years ago. Rather than acknowledging the ingenuity, emphasis is placed on the amount of profit the product will produce.

I’m not saying profit is bad. Profit is necessary to continue in business. However, it’s not the reason for my being in business. We must understand economy is truly a value exchange, and greed hampers this exchange. It’s imperative we solicit our leaders of America to step away from the current paradigm – it’s all about the money. We need our American leaders to embrace the meaning of value exchange to unite our global economy for the future of our children and grandchildren.

Definitions

Ex·change (iks-ˈchānj’) 1: the act of giving or taking one thing in return for another: trade an exchange of prisoners 2 a: the act or process of substituting one thing for another b : reciprocal giving and receiving 3: something offered, given or received in an exchange 4: funds payable currently at a distant point either in a foreign currency or in domestic currency.

Greed ˈgrēd : a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed.

Mon·ey ˈmə-nē : something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value or a means of payment: as a : officially coined or stamped metal currency b : money of account c : paper money

Pay ˈpā a : to make due return to for services rendered or property delivered b : to engage for money : hire you couldn’t pay me to do that 2 a : to give in return for goods or service (pay wages).

Val·ue ˈval-(ˌ)yü 1: a fair return or equivalent in goods, services or money for something exchanged 2: the monetary worth of something : market price 3: relative worth, utility, or importance (a good value at the price) (the value of base stealing in baseball) (had nothing of value to say).