82. Beware of the neighbor

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Let us look at the things we don't see, let us listen to the echo of the sound behind the clamor and discern the crackling in the brushwood of our emotions, so we may recognize the tokens of the heartbeats we might miss and value the quality and the bite of our life story.

Many people often wonder what value signifies and what it implies. What is the value we give to things? If something has no value, "it's peanuts". If it has value, "it is no chicken feed."

The value depends on offer and on demand. It may change, increase or decrease. If it is seen in relation with individual or cultural interpretations, it is to be considered as a relative value.

If value remains constant without depending on collective or personal interpretations we deal with absolute value or intrinsic value. The object has no relational characteristic and no relative value.

When intrinsic value depends on extrinsic elements, the object or artifact is not an end in itself and has, in fact, no value on its own. It is contingent on external preoccupations and represents an instrument in the hands of the owner(s): good investments. It becomes an instrumental value.

Gerhard Richter reproves this kind of situation in "Die Zeit" March 2015 . He denunciates the exorbitant prices his artworks achieve at auction. This is proof of how "insanely the art market has developed," and how the prices have nothing tgeo do with the work. He sees it as a "frightening development." and notes a large disparity between quality and price in the art market.

In actual fact, if we want to understand whether things are chicken feed or not, we must be able to distinguish instrumental value from intrinsic value and recognize the distinction between relative value and absolute value.

Be it as it may, if we are not ready to break new ground and explore the unanswered questions and recurrent challenges in our lives we won't be able to sense the true pulsations of fulfillment or the recognition of the important unsuspected values in the course of our individual walk.


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