Ounce-for-ounce, natural vanilla essence is more costly than gold. In fact, ounce-for-ounce, I think that vanilla is the most expensive commodity in the world. It grows on an orchid - a bit like the orchids my dad grows in his sun room, except that this one has to grow longer than a house is high before it bears fruit...The raw product is rare - it cannot be cultivated on 'vanilla farms' - and the process of extracting the vanilla is a long and delicate one.
I was reminded today of a rare but precious commodity: encouragement.
Ounce-for-ounce, encouragement is more precious than vanilla. People grow in response to encouragement, in healthy ways that result in all sorts of good things. Without encouragement, no one would ever fulfil their potential, or even come anywhere near close to doing so. Unlike vanilla, encouragement can be cultivated. It's a costly work, but definitely worth it!
Be a commodity trader in encouragement, and you'll get a great return on your investment.