|No Free Lunch …………… by ric justiss
There is a parable about a king who ordered his
wise men to condense all human wisdom into a
small, manageable amount of print.
The men returned after twelve years with twelve
volumes. "It is too large," protested the king.
"Condense it further." So the wise man went out
again and returned in a year with one large volume.
"It's still too large," objected the king.
They went out again, only to return the following
day with a single statement written on a slip of
paper – all the great wisdom of the world in one line: "There is no free lunch."
While this greatly oversimplifies all human wisdom, there does seem to be an
unfailing law of sowing and reaping in life. We get out of anything just about what
we put into it. There is no free lunch. This is the now age old adage. Everything
of quality costs something. It is just a question of how the price is paid, at what
time the money changes hands, and who pays the costs of the service.
This is especially true in the Christian life. "Seek and ye shall Find," we are told.
And this is true at my new job. I have had to pay for lunch....everyday since I got
While the wise men of the story and the wise of the world are right, in general, for
me, there was a time when I received free lunch each day at work. One could
argue that is was not free, because if I didn't work on the case of the client
providing the lunch, I was not invited. But I know I would have worked on the
case anyway, and so, for me, it was free. I enjoyed a free lunch, and many of
them at that.
There are many free lunches. They arise every time a person doubles his
productivity. If you work for three hours in the morning to produce lunch, and
then double your efficiency to produce two lunches for the same amount of
work, you have got a free lunch.
It really happens a lot. You receive a gift. A bonus. That something extra or
something special that someone does for you that you know and they know they
did not have to do or was not expected.
Today, living in a world where everyone is always trying to get our money away
from us, always wanting to charge more than the service or product is really
worth, it is so special and satisfying and refreshing, when someone wants to go
that extra mile, completely out of their way, to extend to us, a free lunch.
There are those who do not recognize a free lunch when it comes their way. It
reminds me of the idea of whether the glass is half empty or half full. Some just
always see the cost of something.
But each time someone offers to me their love, their friendship, their support,
their encouragement, or even just a place at their table, I recognize it, appreciate
it, and count it as a blessing.
Oct. 14, 2005