How Much Does That Cost?

While we were staying at the Ritz Carlton they offered a behind the scenes tour of their kitchens. I was impressed by their attention to detail and as I walked down a corridor lined with stacks of drinkwear I noticed that above each type of glass was a sign announcing the price of each glass. At the time I found myself thinking wow if someone dropped one of those plastic trays of glasses they would see how quickly those dollars added up.

Speaking of adding up, a few weeks ago when we were in California we went out to dinner at a Red Robin Restaurant. I wasnít sure what I wanted to eat and this menu made the decision simple. Every item on the menu had itís total calories listed beside the item description. It was so easy, I went for the lowest calories and it was the Asian Chicken Salad with a mere 458 calories and guess what? It was great. Just for grins do you know how many calories are in one of those Towering Onion Ring appetizers? I was shocked but they pack a whopping 1773 calories.

Stay with me because this will all come together, but I recall talking to my Dad some years ago about the fact that he and my Mom had smoked cigarettes. He said that back then nobody knew that cigarettes caused cancer; in fact he equated it to drinking coffee. Everyone went out and did it because no one knew the cost. All this got me thinking, what if beside every choice we made we could see the cost? Remember in the movie Forest Gump when Forest says ďWhen I was in China on the All-American ping-pong team, I just loved playing ping-pong with my Flex-o-lite ping-pong paddle,Ē which everybody knows isnít true, but Mama said it was just a little white lie, it wasnít hurting nobody.Ē

Maybe it didnít hurt anybody, or maybe it did. What if the next time I was faced with telling a little lie I could see the cost? How about if it read something like tell the truth and experience extreme discomfort or tell a lie and live with a damaged relationship where trust is never restored? Suppose all our choices had a cost clearly itemized beside it? Then the answer would be simple you might be thinking. But the truth be told many times I know the answer but I chose to ignore it. Or at times I may have an inclination that digging a little deeper will produce an unwanted answer, so I will often decide not to look. I figure as long as I donít know it wonít hurt me and I create a sort of ignorance is bliss mentality. If I donít step on the scale I donít know how much I weigh, which really means I donít know how much weight I have gained. But hereís where the rubber meets the road, whether you know or donít know doesnít matter, every choice you make has a price. Oh you can fool yourself all you want but the truth is there is a cost and you will pay the price. Hereís what I learned, next time Iím faced with a decision Iím going to ask myself can I afford this. Whatís the cost?

Here are some photos from our tour: