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Lunchroom Marketplace

Remember the lunchroom in school?

You know, the heart of cliques, the epicenter of gossip, and the hub of grade-school dramatics...

But above all else, the lunchroom was the first free market system most of us were introduced to, where the prices of each good were determined by the people.

Whether through cash or trading and bartering, lunch transactions always ran rampant during this period of the day.

Personally, there were not many prices I wasn't willing to spend for zebra cakes.  Cheez-its were also very high on my demand list.

It was always about what you didn't have, and how you could obtain it.

These trade talks could last several minutes, and only became more complicated as other parties were interested in some of the goods.

What started as a simple chocolate chip cookie for a bag of Cheez-its deal between two students in a '1 for 1' trade, quickly turned into a hostile bidding war between too many hungry adolescents.

And before you know it, the lunch period is over, you ended up with an oatmeal raisin cookie, and you didn't even finish your lunch.

A lot of this time is spent thinking about what everyone else brought in for lunch rather than what we have in our own boxes.  Even though we probably played a vital role in selecting the food in our lunch during groceries the weekend prior, we sometimes still focus more on what others have.

The implications that can be drawn from these lunchroom chronicles identify our focuses on others, and how they affect us.

You don't want to worry so much about someone else or what they have that you forget who you are, what you are capable of, or what you have.

It is easy to look over on the other "lunch table" and consider why all of their items are "better" than yours, but in some instances, you may not realize just how good your lunch was packed.

Don't get me wrong, I am in favor of good trades and harmless transactions, it just should also be noted that sometimes we have all that we need.

I want to reiterate...

Too much focus on someone else rather than yourself takes away from your uniqueness.  There are always bits and pieces that can be 'traded', but don't forget your identity.  You may get things you temporarily want, but could lose things that are more valuable that have made you you.

All in all, the free market of the lunchroom will always hold a significant spot in my memory. 

I loved all of the zebra cakes and Cheez-its that I obtained, but as TLC shared with us (in my slightly revised lyric), "don't go chasing all the snacks, please stick to the snacks that you originally asked for"...

They are good too.

Until next time,

Long Live The People

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