There is an attitude among the American people which is killing our abilities to move forward. The attitude is one that not only affects our government, but business and the American people as a whole, those very people which both governments and businesses are supposed to serve.
I read a while back that during the time of George Washington he was in bakery and a poor person came into the bakery and asked for a loaf of bread from the baker. George Washington and the baker looked at each other and knew the man was hungry, but it was what they did next that is the issue.
Now this story is a familiar one that happens all of the time in America, but there is a different twist to this, and it is not pretty.
I met a new Christian friend, Mark Ludy, who is a fine artist and as well as, like me, gone through some difficult times and have come out of it the better for it. He described, and I have witnessed it myself, a lack of respect for an individual’s right to earn a living and even depriving these individuals by means of theft.
- “Free Samples.” In some of the “big stores” you see “free food samples” of items being given out, but I have rarely ever seen anyone buy it. In fact, one such “big box” store the gives out “free food samples” to potential customers the servers are always joking that the “after Church crowd” comes for a “free lunch” of the samples. Here’s the issue: If you don’t intend to buy it from the sample given, you prevent or deprive others that could use it or that need it to try it. If you’re not going use it, don’t take it!
- “Sample chapters.” When it comes to authors, we give out sample chapters so that others can get an idea as to what the book is about. However, even a relative of mine said that they would go into a book store and read what they needed to read, and then put the book back on the shelf, never having spent a dime for the information. From God’s perspective, you’re robbed them.
- “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” This was the character in the Popeye cartoon, J. Wellington Wimpy, who “is soft-spoken, very intelligent, and well-educated, but also cowardly, very lazy, overly parsimonious and utterly gluttonous. He is also something of a scam artist and, especially in the newspaper strip,can be notoriously underhanded at times.”
- I don’t know how many people have scammed or have tried to scam me out of my book and PDF copy of my book. This is especially true when “higher ups” or “celebrity figures” that promise something that they’ll do for you, but either rarely follow up, or in actuality, take your idea and content and use it for themselves (“I’ll use your book as a giveaway”) or pass it off as their own, thus robbing you of being paid for your efforts.
- There are also those that say “I’ll take you to coffee/lunch so I can pick your brain” person, and all to familiar saying. Picking someone’s brain is like stealing a loaf of bread! You’re taking what someone has spent time and energy learning. My wife even has people say to her, “Can I get your notes from your paid class?” Really? My wife paid for the class and you want free notes? That would be ripping off my wife.
- A friend told me of a rich rancher that told his son that if he didn’t become a pastor, he’d write him out of the will. So this “pastor” wrote 52 messages and rotated them throughout the year so no one was the wiser. What as waste of this man’s son’s talent, he was not cut out for it and the father “lost” his son and his potential productivity that he could have been doing.
- Or those “stingy” persons that are “sponges,” they will always take something that is free and never respond back or give a testimonial on how well it worked out for them. Now while most consider a loaf of bread a tangible asset, what about intellectual property or experience? Is not pertinent or time sensitive information or a product worthy of being paid for?
- I saw on the Duggar TV show 19 Kids and Counting and the episode 19 Kids and Counting Season 9 Episode 8 Duggar To-Dos Full Episode 2014 shows the carpet layer saying that what would have taken 1 ½ hours took about 5 hours. Senior Duggar “was appreciative” for the business owner to take the time to teach them how to do it. Did Duggar pay extra for the business owner’s time? Teacher’s get paid, why shouldn’t this business owner get paid for their time?
To end the George Washington story, the baker gave the hungry man a loaf of bread and the man left, George had told the baker via eye contact to put it on his bill! A loaf of bread is a product, so is information, stories, experience, etc., but the main point: someone has to pay to improve their life and learn.
Anyone that provides someone help, a product, or service that you makes money or improves your situation from it deserves to receive compensation for their efforts, or as Jesus says, “the laborer is worth of his wages.” If you don’t “pay” someone, you’re robbing them.