NEVER ACCEPT FOR FREE THAT WHICH YOU AREN'T WILLING TO PAY FOR! -Jermaine Andre'
Now this may go against all that we have been taught in regards to "getting ahead", "taking what we can get", "not being too proud to accept a free lunch", blah blah blah. Most advice that deals with success and progress not only demands that we take all that we can for free, it shames us for doing the opposite. To the norm, "free" is an offering that advantages the person who accepts it with no cost to anyone. But this is not true.
Regardless of if we ever get to actually see the person who is footing the bill for that which made it to our hands for free, there is a bill. Free classes cost teachers and trainers their time without pay along with the costs to the owner for rent & electricity. Free taste tests cost the time of the person who cooked it and the money of the person who bought the ingredients to make the food. Even free water costs the labor of the men and women who constructed the items to bring the CLEAN free water to us. Everything costs whether we can see the bill or not and I will explain soon why we should always acknowledge this truth.
When we are offered something for free that we aren't willing to pay for, we should not accept it out of respect. The reason behind is that we can almost be certain that a person who is offering something for free usually is doing it to promote something that they would like purchased from them. If we already know that we would never purchase the offer we are knowingly wasting a piece of their promotion and work by accepting that which the person could have given to someone else who may have purchased from them. Of course one could argue that the little that they accept could never cause any harm and this may be true. But if we're one of many, we may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
It is an unspoken act of compassion to deny a free item or service that benefits us for the purpose of assuring not to unknowingly harm the person who offered it to us for free. If we can keep the truth in our minds that even though the free item or service is worthless to us, it is valuable to the one who is offering it for free. In fact, it may be his or her livelihood. The existence of this fact automatically demands that we should behave with sensitivity and respect towards the item or service as well as the gifting person.
Another reason that I am against accepting free stuff that I wouldn't buy is because I only buy high quality stuff. Most things or services that I won't buy is because it doesn't satisfy me or I have yet to choose to experience it. Therefor either I don't like it enough to pay for it or I'm not interested in it enough to give it a respectable amount of time that will allow me to experience and judge it fairly. When I accept something just because it's free while knowing I would never buy or use it, I am giving it and myself an unfair experience of it's first impression.
Another reason that I never accept for free that which I wouldn't pay for is, because the person who is giving me the free item or service may have a hidden cost worked out in his head that I know nothing about and would never agree to. And this may not matter. He or she may still come to collect what they feel I owe even against my will.
Lastly, it is a show of restraint not to accept for free that which we wouldn't pay for. We must always carry the integrity not to "sell out" for a handout that we weren't willing to pay for. If it isn't worth giving our money and attention to while it has it's cost tied to it, it shouldn't be worth our attention when it's free.
We should value our gesture of accepting something from another. It should be of meaning to us and to the person that we are allowing to give us something that cost us nothing, but may have cost them much. It is inaccurate for us to ever assume a void of cost or value towards something just because it is offered to us at no charge. And if we decide that something is not worth paying for to acquire, we should not allow our fellow man or woman to inherit a debt that we wouldn't accept to give that which we didn't want, to us without charging us. We must not allow ourselves to behave as rats rummaging through the belongings of others to see what handouts we will be given. Just because something is free shouldn't mean that it is worthy of our possessing it.
And THIS, ...is a "way" of the "Warrior's Edge" -Jermaine Andre