I grew up without a lot. I’m not saying we were poor, but like most of the people I knew back then, we didn’t have much more than we needed. Even then though, if was rare you would find yourself thinking “at least we have power, and shelter, and food”. Unlike the generation before us, and much different from the one after us.
Those before us had to worry about being bombed out of their homes, had to deal with food rationing, war, canned food, food stamps, etc. That was all common place, and affected how many of them tried to raise their kids. Making a life that was better than theirs growing up. And after all, Isn’t that what we all are still trying to do?
As for the ones after us, there seems to be a real disconnect between the younger generation and where money comes from. It seems that in our attempt to give them a better life than ours, we’ve forgotten to instil in them appreciation of what they have and what it takes to get those material things, let alone life’s necessities. And by necessities, I am not referring to the latest gadgets and tech, although I think that the definition of that word “necessities” may have changed in our kids’ minds. I know I am guilty of it, and enable as well as reinforce the “wants” more so than making my kids earn their own way.
Christmas always brings that idea home for me when I see how much gets spent on kids these days. Days, or weeks of planning and shopping which all culminates in about an hour of ripping open of gifts, most of which don’t change the quality of life at all, but just reinforce the fact we are the haves. Not many kids get essentials in their stockings or under the tree. You are not likely to hear “woohoo, the new socks I wanted”, for the most part the gifts all fall under the “wants” category. Speaking of wants, most of us don’t want for anything, at least not anything that matters. Food, shelter, clothing, a job, transportation, these are the needs, everything else is gravy. But to me, it seems the gravy has become part of the main meal now.
Stop, look around, and think. There are many people in this world who would love to have what most of us have, so don’t take it for granted, and try to find a way to make sure the next generation has a better quality of life and appreciation of it, not just amasses more stuff.