The Value of Everything


One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.


No truer words have ever been spoken.  Especially if you have a 5 year old in your house.

My son is a collector.  Not baseball cards, or action figures.  Just stuff.  All kinds of stuff.  Stuff you or I would probably dismiss as trash.  He finds it on walks outside, on the floors of department stores, everywhere. He’s a regular magpie.

As I was once again picking up some of his “treasures” from around the house today (that’s them up there), it dawned on me — he actually sees value in these things. He doesn’t see them as discarded bits (or bits that should be discarded), but items that can be repurposed or reimagined, or just enjoyed for their texture or how they reflect light in an interesting way.  He still appreciates things in a way that most of us have forgotten.

As he grows up the world will tell him what to value, and he’ll begin to believe. It will train him in its consumerist ways, dictating what is cool and what’s not, what should be coveted and what should be cast aside. He’ll want the newest video games and lust after techno gadgets, instead of that really odd-shaped rock.

And thinking about that makes me kind of sad. I hope he holds on to a bit of that appreciation for the quirky beauty of simple things. In the meantime I’ll retrieve these weird little odds and ends from between the sofa cushions and put them back in his treasure box.  Because today they’re still treasured.

Colleen Clifford

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