Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On Needs Virus Wants:

When I was a kid people thought differently then they do now. People looked around them and said, ‘I may not be the top man but I’m doing better then the bottom man.’ And they got down to the business of living.

Now it seems that everyone thinks that everyone else has more or better then they have and that they have to go into debt to keep up. Everyone seems to have the ‘gimmies’ or the ‘gotta’ haves.’ And ‘one is never enough.’

Maybe I missed out on something, but I don’t understand it. Maybe I was absent that day, but I don’t do credit, I do without. I have self pride, not pride in what I have. I know who I am in my birthday suit, my clothing does not define me.

Don’t get me wrong, I have wants. But I know what they are as oppose to my needs. Needs are food, clothing, shelter, warmth and safety. Wants are the caliber of those things and the extras in life. (Last years good and warm winter coat compared to the have to have, in style one in the store window this year.) To me ‘If it works don’t fix it’ means ‘Don’t buy a new coat until the old one wears out.’ I don’t go out and buy anything that is not life sustaining with my last nickel either. I save said nickel for an emergency. I have never bought anything that I didn’t have the money in my pocket to own.

I have been poor. I’ve had to wash the floor with the used dish water when I was done with the dishes, and washed my clothing by hand because I just didn’t have the money to go to the Laundromat. And I’m not talking for a week or two until the next paycheck came. I’m talking for years as I went to school and built up a life for myself. And I did it with kids at home. I worked, went to school part time and took care of my kids and home by myself after the divorce. I got no alimony or child support. You can’t get blood from a stone. And I walked everywhere I had to go because I couldn’t afford the bus fare much less a car. There were times I didn't know where the next meal was coming from.

I deal with the heat the same way. I am sitting here at my computer cool and calm with only a small electric fan at my back. My feet, you see, are in a bucket of cool water. I have no air conditioner, no pool out back, no attic to buffer the heat, no basement to cool off in underground.

Life puts us in a pressure cooker sometimes. But it doesn’t pay to make myself miserable by wanting something I don’t have when I can be happy with what I have. It’s best to make the most of it and forge on through as best as I can. I hope the heat doesn’t get to you.

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