Why Have We Not Passed On What We Learned So Painfully?
I could see it in her eyes. This young woman was in pain. Her body was failing to support her and the mountain of responsibilities she heaped upon herself. She pushed herself to inhumane levels, striving to support herself while honoring her passions. Yet her body failed her. Or did she fail her body? Her schedule doesn’t allow for down time or for doing things to honor and protect the vessel which carries her through this lifetime.
Have we taught our children nothing about quality of life? Do they not see that killing ourselves slowly, whether physically, mentally or emotionally is not a life? Yet, what chance do we give them to follow their passion and be independent? A decent apartment in a reasonably safe location can cost upwards of $1500 a month. $100 barely buys a bag of groceries. In most areas, public transportation is inadequate, yet cars, insurance and fuel nearly require a second job.
They’ve grown accustomed to smart phones and computers and internet connections that are available whenever they wish to connect. In fact, in many cases, such “luxuries” are practically essential to their lives and careers.
My generation discovered back problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraines and ulcers by their late 30’s or early 40’s. This generation is finding them in their 20’s.
Learning to Simplify Before We Can Teach It
I know I’m a crappy example with my single-family dwelling occupied by one woman and her cats. It would require at least one U-Haul truck just to move my books. And do not even think about disconnecting me from the Internet! On the other hand, I haven’t moved in over 30 years so my house payment (including insurance) is less than half of what many pay for a one bedroom apartment nowadays. I also buy my cars new and keep them for at least 10 years. I don’t know too many people who can say the same, so hoarding books is a small offense in comparison, if you ask me.
The Fine Art of Money Management
I tried to teach my daughters to live within their means, but I know my example hasn’t been exactly sterling in that regard. Many of us run up our credit cards, eat out when we should eat in, buy things we don’t need, and the list goes one. We’ve taught our children to be consumers instead of savers, debtors instead of conservationists. Where will it end? Is it any wonder so many are homeless? It takes just one devastating financial setback for someone to lose everything.
Seven years ago, at the height of the real estate boom, a young couple bought the house across the street for nearly half a million dollars; a 4 bedroom, 1200 square foot tract house built in 1961! I bought mine in 1980 for less than 1/5 the price, and my next door neighbors bought theirs new for less than $20,000! Craziness! But the story gets worse. The young man lost his job about 4 years ago and to add insult to injury, they lost the house to foreclosure because, by then, the real estate market had tanked and they were upside down in their loan. A few months later, another young couple bought the house for about half of the previous owners loan amount, and recently sold it again for almost what the previous owners had owed!
Once again, a 4 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, 1200 square foot house in an older neighborhood in a Southern California suburb is going for close to half a million dollars! The simple American Dream we’re all taught to believe in is making people kill themselves at jobs they hate just to get a place of their own. People today pay more for a car than my parents paid for their first house!
The Moon Gets Further Away Every Year
We teach our kids to reach for the moon; that pie in the sky, yet it keeps getting harder and harder to reach. They’re working two or three jobs just to get by and trying to launch their own business at the same time. Our beautiful, wonderful, talented, intelligent children are burning themselves up by the time they’re 30, yet they make themselves keep going because the dream we’ve instilled in them is still out there somewhere, even if it’s getting harder to see as it disappears into the distance.
I just hope that those same beautiful, wonderful, brilliant minds can find the time and the motivation to put an end to the downward spiral they’ve inherited from us; that they can figure out, before it’s too late that the American Dream we’ve passed onto them is more of a nightmare now. I hope they can re-think that dream and create something both sustainable and fulfilling instead of working at something they hate so they can have all of the stuff they’ve been taught they need to block out the life they hate.
My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful that I created a simpler life than many do.
2. I am grateful that most of my needs can be met with a cat’s purr and a book.
3. I am grateful for the children who are already learning to be less the consumer, less the hoarder, and who find happiness with less and allow their true passion to rule.
4. I am grateful for my little forum where I can share concerns, ideas, positive affirmations and, of course, gratitude.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, life, freedom, happiness, joy, pleasure in the little things, motivation, inspiration, peace, harmony, health, prosperity and philanthropy.
I’d appreciate your taking a moment to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!