You’ve heard the joke shared when someone wants an adult beverage early in the day, “well, it’s five o’clock somewhere.” My theme of this column is loosely based on that joke.
Someone, somewhere is paying for or being paid for something. Let’s explore that idea of payment a little bit.
In our business, we casually but regularly use the concept of cost-benefit ratio. Asking the question, “Is it worth the cost to do thus and such” is our oft-used measure of what goods and/or services to buy, how much to spend, and when to cut back, because the cost is too “dear.”
The word “dear” in this sense is something I had heard growing up, to mean, expensive. As it turns out, the way we used to open a personal letter to someone, with Dear so-and-so, is related to this old-fashioned usage as something or someone precious, held in high regard, beloved, important, of high value or worth much in our estimation.
As to payment, it is often wondered, are we paid for what we’re worth? Do you feel shorted on pay day?
Is it worth it to pay that much for that item? For what it’s worth, I have opinions about having to pay the going prices in today’s market. Is the price too high, for you?
Is the cost too high? Is it worth it? What’s it worth to you? Is there a discernible equivalent value, worthiness?
Have you ever done something wrong and now someone wronged implies, “you’ll pay?” This pronouncement is their promise to correct you by making you suffer. Their plan is to take something from you in repayment.
“If I do this thing, will I pay the price later?” “I think this may cost me.” In other words, will I suffer the consequences of my actions, or get away with it this time?
Then there’s payback which means exactly what it says, one has to pay back what we owe to whomever we owe it. This kind of payback may or may not include interest on what we borrowed. Interest can be tricky, as it can be a fair trade or it can be loan-sharking. Either way, however, we usually agreed to the terms.
But, more often than not, payback is a form of revenge, even though it’s under the guise of reaping what we sow. If it’s a person exacting the payback, it’s usually revenge, or the Hebrew bible’s “an eye for an eye” which in its original intent and language, was not payback but an effort to make an injured party whole. As in, if your eye has been taken, I’ll give to you my eye so that you may be made whole. But, we the people in our need to be right and to get what’s ours, not to mention living in a world of sin, made the “eye for an eye” scripture all about revenge.
Sometimes, if we do something hateful, dirty, cruel, or unkind to someone, we may almost immediately reap what we sowed. If alert, we might recognize our wrongdoing and think, “well that was God’s payback.”
Maybe I could avoid payback if I “pay it forward.” Why not? Instead of paying back a person who did a kindness to you, you pass it on to another person. Theoretically, they pass it on to another, and so on. Thus, a pattern of kindness is generated.
Have you ever been dirt poor, or better yet, hit pay dirt? The former, “rock bottom” is the dirtiest of dirt. The latter, sort of ground up rock containing bits of gold, could be said to be similar to the Beverly Hillbillies’ black gold; and yeah, me neither.
I have eaten a Payday candy bar. But I don’t recommend them, on pay day or anytime, if you have a peanut allergy or dentures, for that matter. It happened to be payday at the Hollywood Candy Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota when the caramel covered peanut nougat bar was first produced in 1932. Since it was, duh, payday, someone suggested the name, and inventor Frank “Marty” Martoccio agreed.
I’m looking forward to payday. So, if you feel so inclined to pay me back for anything I’ve done, in the “what goes around comes around,” way, could it please be for something kind or loving or benevolent that I’ve done? Please forgive me if you’ve got something else in mind for payback, on payday.