Thursday, April 23, 2015

Are you Poor?

  In these times of economic hardship we keep hearing about the unequal division of wealth. How such a tiny number of super rich hold most of the worlds wealth. Since I am not spending so much time in the garden I am thinking way too much! It doesn't help that the news feed we follow on our computer from all around the world are focusing on this topic more than the American Media.

67 people are as wealthy as the poorest 3.5 billion.  It almost makes you sick to read that. 42% of these Billionaires are from this country, the United States. Now thats interesting considering this countries picture this each American [this is ALL of us, not just taxpayers]  now owes $56,043.00. This is really bizarre as someone who has billions owes the same amount as the youngest citizen of this country. It just makes me shake my head.

Maybe we are asking the wrong questions though. Is it all about money?  Are we poor just because we do not have as much money as other people? Are the super rich any happier? There have always been poor people, I believe there always will be. Unless money evaporates some will always have more than others.  Even without money some people will have more  food, land or barter goods than others. Suffice to say some people will always work harder than other too!
 A Mansion in Florida

A foreclosed home in Illinois

I have worked hard all my life and am not wealthy, I have lived below the definition of the poverty line at times. As children we were poor. My father worked hard to build the farm and everything we had went back into the farm to make it better. We really did go barefoot in summer to save shoes.

The interesting thing is we were happy children. We didn't know we were poor. Our parents made sure we knew we were loved. They spent time with us and taught us about the farm and all the world around us. We ate simply of food we grew in the garden or raise on the farm. We had chickens and rabbits.

Summer was spent riding our ponies all over the place. We got to go fishing for fun and to supplement our winter food supply. Our entertainment was making things with our Mother who taught us to knit and paint and make crafts. She read to us from all sorts of books and we followed the Adventure of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn with delight. The saga of Laura Ingall's  Wilder and her family always led to learning how to make things like button strings and parched corn. It was fun and made us laugh!  The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew led us into mysteries and adventure.

Now I know we may have been cash poor, but environmentally we were blessed! In this age of consumerism we have become obsessed with things we must have. Things we think we need. I think this desire for things makes us poor, not just financially with credit card debt but it makes us frustrated with our inability to have everything. A bigger house, fancier furniture, a faster more glamorous car. All the things we are told we need to have to be happy.  Yes you will be happy if you make more money and can buy more things but to make more money both parents work, they spend too much time away from their children. How can children understand not to go with a stranger when they see more of their day care workers than their parents?

The welfare system in some states pays more to its recipients than people who work make at their jobs! The welfare system does not build strong individuals for the most develops the entitlement society. People expect the Government to take care of them, get them housing, phones, Televisions and food. Do you remember the first thing you ever bought with your own money, something you saved and worked towards? I bet you gives a person a great sense of satisfaction to be able to say to yourself..I DID THAT MYSELF. You did not need to brag about it but you knew you had accomplished what you had set out to do.

How much money do you need to be happy and satisfied with your life?
  • "It is wrong to assume that men of immense wealth are always happy."
    John D. Rockefeller, 1 April 1905.

     Think hard about what times you have been the happiest, seriously happy, laughing out loud happy, tearfully happy! I suspect these times were spent with family. Times that did not cost a fortune. If we surround ourselves with simple things and spend time with family and loved ones we are rich beyond anything money can truly buy. 

    I am not saying we do not need money and it has no place but I do believe in our consumer driven world the pursuit of money has become out of balance with a happy life. Money earned with our own hands and received with thanks and appreciation has so much more meaning. We need to be able to use this money to live well but not be obsessed with the pursuit of it.

    Looking hard at what you really need to be spending money on and compare that to time spent with your family, time laughing at simple things, time spent well without money being the source of your happiness.

    We have so much more than our parents had, children have so much more than their parents have, but are today's children any happier?  Do you hear your children laugh with delight over simple things or whine because they do not have the latest shoes or electronic toys? Do you wear ALL the clothes that fill your you use all the gadgets and gizmo's you have in your home.  Do you have a storage unit for the overflow?

    I am blessed to know even if we do not have as much money as John D. Rockefeller....Ralph and I are happy and most certainly not poor!


  1. When I was newly divorced and my boys were still little, my ex husband decided not to pay child support anymore. That is when I learned that I could make more on welfare than working. Of course I took the job because that is how I was raised. Eventually I worked myself up in that company and made more money. Social services came to me and said I should just quit the job and go on welfare. It was kind if hard to pass that up. Yeah, we were poor then, but it was OK because we were not beholden to anyone, including the govt. Same thing now. As long as we are not poor in spirit, we will be OK. We are rich compared to some countries. No whining here.

    1. Your values are bedrock....the kind of solid ethics that made this country. Hard work and not beholding to the government means we have taken responsibility for ourselves. These values make us rich! God bless you!

  2. I remember someone said that money can't buy you happiness but it certainly won't hurt, either. We aren't rich or poor, but it does seem to get harder to hold the line.

  3. Somewhere there is a happy medium. Enough to not have money worries would help many "Middle Class" families now. I guess what amazes me is the lack of respect for money so many people suffer from. The I-watch being an good example...Paying $17,000.00 just to say you can for an item that will be obsolete in a year or two! As to holding the line...that is truly becoming difficult unless your "The Fed" and you can just print more!

  4. Oh I remember being poor when we were young and my Dad worked so hard but we were happy. I am still happy we work hard but we are not hungry these days.