I learned at a young age to hold on to possessions, people, and desires with an open hand. Things come and go. Grasping tightly does not help. It only forces us to be anxious, stressed, or worse depressed. It is tempting to imagine that holding on less tightly is easier for someone with more money, more status, or more fame.

It is not.

It’s not possible to live with nothing. We are all pursuing something and that pursuit can most likely be made easier with money.

I’ve become a person who values quiet time, watching and reading stories, and drinking a warm beverage. But even more I value spending time talking to someone, not for gain or obligation, but to just be there with them. Being with someone is one of my most favorite things. It’s also something I think very few people really practice.

The things that I value most are said to be free or nearly. But while a used book, some tea, and a sketchbook are close to free: the free time and lack of stress to enjoy them are not. The less anxious, the less hurried, and the more prepared seem to have more chances to partake in lovely things.

People living in poverty are 10% or more less productive simply because of their predicament. The stress of having little makes it more difficult to climb up to have more. Other stresses have the same effect; I’ve experienced this. Still, grasping on to things tighter does not keep them around longer.

Be with someone, be present, and let them know you are simply there. Hold on to them with an open hand. Maybe they’ll be a little less stressed and little more able to climb up somewhere.

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