Some have been telling me lately that I should be charging a fee for *everything* I do. Every time I counsel someone, I should apparently be charging them for this. Someone even asked why I don’t charge extra to sign a CD album when I send it out, adding that I’ve no one to blame but myself for my “poverty” and what they deem to be a lack of fame and success in this world. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned but I cannot climb on the wagon-train (New Age or Old) of greed and acquisition — especially when it comes to imparting wisdom or healing one-on-one or taking a few seconds to write six words on a CD. What’s more, a true artist does not set out to seek fame and fortune. As I look around me at the plethora of “spiritual” people boasting about how they can conjure up a Porsche, an abundance of wealth, or continual perfect health merely by visualising or affirming it, I wonder what on earth we have come to. To me, that is a descent into darkness — the selling of one’s soul to the left-hand path. This is not a popular view. In fact, stating it on a medium such as Facebook is likely to bring sneers of derision and condemnation. Somehow, in our rush to own big things and make a big name for ourselves, we seem to have forgotten the human qualities of duty, grace, honour, modesty, humility and simple kindness. You see, I have this really wacky idea that whatever we do freely and givingly and generously from our hearts to those of others will, in mysterious ways, reap its own invisible reward in our lives and we will somehow be preserved and maintained. We may never see that reward in a conventional sense. As a result, we may not have much in the material realm to show for it; we may not be a “good catch” or a trendy person to know; we may even get ill (which carries its own deep lessons); we may appear eccentric and underachieving; we may find ourselves alone and even ridiculed. But I crazily believe that the best and most lasting rewards in this strange old world are those which happen within and which come from unseen and wholly unexpected sources.