Saturday, June 7, 2008

HARD TIMES



What have you been hearing all over the news and out of everyone’s mouth? Complaints about high gas prices, high food prices, bad economy, and the sad state of affairs we are in here in America. While these things are “true” I must say, it is getting old. Everyone wants someone to blame for it all, some explanation for it all, and some definitive answer on when it will end. Well, here it is folks: we are all to blame, we are doing it to ourselves, and it won’t ever change. Hard times are here to stay!

Let me explain.

Our food has always been cheap. Our clothes have always been cheap. Our gas has always been cheap. And by cheap, I mean compared to the rest of the world. The “rest of the world” is not a group of people that American’s often think about. The “rest of the world” has never had cheap food, gas, or clothes. They have, for the most part, been 3rd world countries with little hope of rising out of that. Newsflash: They don’t live like we do. They don’t drive 2-3 cars per family. They don’t live in 4 bedroom mansions. They don’t eat out 5 times a week. They don’t shop at Whole Foods and Gap. They walk to work and school, or take public transportation. They have gardens. They make their own clothes or have just a few outfits. They have very modest homes with kids sharing bedrooms. They don’t eat fast food. They don’t need much.

Oh, but here…. We need A LOT. We need choices! What we want has become what we need. And it has finally caught up with the middle class in America. We don’t think it’s fair. We whine and complain and moan that we can’t get what we want anymore. But is that really true? I still see people pulling their boats behind their giant SUV’s. Now, that gas bill is something that will max out a credit card. I still see people loading up their grocery cart with junk food and imported produce. I still see people wearing new clothes. I still see kids talking on cell phones. I still see everyone living in a beautiful home with a manicured yard and even a pool! How bad are we really hurting?

I was talking to an 80 year old man last night. We were on this exact subject. He said, “I hear people saying these are hard times. These aren’t hard times. I was a kid in the depression. Those were hard times for America. These kids don’t know nothin’ about hard times.” And I believe him 100%. Could you imagine everyone in your neighborhood not having a job? Literally not having any money in your pocket to buy food for your kids? Having one pair of pants and they are full of holes? This is pure desperation folks. And how many of us have experienced something like that and looked around and everyone else was in the same boat? Very few people under the age of 75 have.

All of us complain, but very, very few of us make changes. We simply can’t help it. We have gotten used to a very high standard of living and we can’t come down from it. We want what we want and we want it now. We are actually getting a taste of what the “rest of the world” has been living with for years.

2 comments:

Super Maw Maw said...

Amen sista !!! Living on less and liking it more.......learning to be content with what you have not always yearning for more and more.....staying out of the mall....making things with your own hands.....enjoying real, good food, spending time with your family and friends...taking care of others and not yourself...."Thou shalt not whine"!!!!

Judy Kay said...

Hmm... You've hit on one of Jimmy's pet peeves. I learned very early on in our relationship to be really, really sure before using the word "need". True words well spoken!