Total spend = £4.84. £3.80 picking up some dinner on the way home, £1 on a caramel shortbread from the local bakers, 4p in a charity box. That last sum makes me feel really tight. I’m glad that this task of recording my spending had slipped from my mind as I dropped the money in, else I might have put more in to appease my conscience – and to look better to you, my dear reader. I didn’t put any more in than usual, but thinking about this 4p afterwards caused me to reflect on the nature of giving. It seems such a truism to say, but giving and receiving are so intimately linked. The more one gives, the more one recieves. Following on from that, how do we give? Is monetary the only value, the only means of assessment? Unfortunately that seems to be the case. Money is the only currency, the only value we know how to ascribe. Yet sometimes we, as individuals, buck the system. Sometimes we give without a financial reward, or at least give where the exact “value” is obscured. I am emotionally involved with my job; my personal investment far outweighs the pay cheque I recieve. This evening I gave blood – probably the single most life enhancing things I do, with a meaning far greater than the biscuit you get in return. I also marked the quiz in my local, again a task that brings more to me than just the drinks I get for doing it – it stands for new friends, community, belonging. So it appears that £4.84 – the actual cash I’ve spent – is actually a completely inaccurate figure. Today I have given so much more, and received more still again. Money does a poor job of reflecting my value system.