The use of the term cost

It is hard to think clearly about process in an environment where most of us are surrounded with products we did not participate in planting, harvesting, designing, manufacturing, transporting, or marketing. Indeed, the processes by which things come to us are often deliberately hidden or left unmentioned so as not to draw attention to the less savory byproducts of process like polluted waterways, abusive labor practices, carbon emissions, pesticide poisoning, cruelty to animals, insider trading. A precise use of the term cost would include all of the above. We need, I think, to enlarge our understanding of “cost” to take into account Thoreau’s famous definition: “I count the cost of a thing in terms of how much of life I have to give to obtain it.”

From “Caring for Words In A Culture of Lies” by Marilyn McEntyre – Eerdmans Publishing