Seems that is a question I find myself asking over and over these days. Just what is considered “enough to live on”, “enough to get by” or simply, “enough”.
A while back, I had some friends over to our house. They’d never been there before and were a little amazed at its’ size. Then they got inside and realized it’s bigger on the outside as it’s over 100yrs old and it’s triple brick construction. So, it’s a fairly large house, 1300sqft on 2 floors, with a lot of small rooms that still have strange iron heat vanes mounted to some walls.
First reaction: “Wow, your house is Big!”
Second reaction: “Ah, it’s a lot of little rooms isn’t it?”
Third reaction: “Is that your only TV?” “Yes, we can only watch one at a time.” “Ok, so where’s your computer and stuff?” “I have a desktop and my son has a laptop that was a present when he graduated.” “That’s all?” “Yep.” “So where’s your sound system?” “My son got his at the thrift store, I don’t have one.”
And it goes on and on as my friends found out that I don’t have a houseful of “stuff”. I have lots of comfy seats for folks, even an emergency pull-out couch if needed, and I often have food out or cook a meal. There is always tea, coffee or ice water and sometimes we have juice or kool-aid. My house is anything but neatly put together, but I do try to keep the bathrooms and kitchen up to snuff with regular forays into bribing my son to help with the heavy cleaning. But we don’t have “stuff” like a lot of folks in my economic neighborhood do. We don’t have multiples of most things we do own as in: one computer, one car, one TV, one AC unit. That’s about the reach of our “durable goods” as the washer is on its’ last legs. We don’t have the latest cell phones, never have. Heck, the glass on my Galaxy2 cracked almost 3 years ago and it’s still working so I’m not paying for a new one! Our cars are all over 5yrs old and one is, well, it’s geriatric and not a classic!
I say all this not to put myself up as an example of any sort, but rather to perhaps give folks a nudge in the direction of an attitude adjustment. Poor and poverty stricken are NOT fun in any stretch of the imagination, so if a new phone you can afford now (no credit cards honey) helps you make it through the week, Great! Just please use it for something other than texting and facebook. You have net access? Sit down with your friends and surf the Net for jobs, classes, skill slots, how to manuals, books etc. The world awaits you, you just have to get to it and the Net is one way to do this.
Yes, I know that cool, flat screen TV would be so bitchin’ in your livingroom, but just what is the problem with the one you currently watch?
Does having more “stuff” make you somehow “higher class”? What does your “stuff” say about you?
Yes, everyone, somehow, can afford things our and their parents would never have dreamed of during The Great Depression and WWII. Children then weren’t “entitled” to much besides school, clothes, food, shelter. They certainly didn’t just get anything they “wanted”. It was a question of “need” then, just as it is now. So, do you really Need all that “stuff” or are you just afraid no one will like you if you don’t have it?