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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gotta have it....

Do you just have to have more? The hottest, the biggest, the best? Do you feel as if your status and position are jeapardized without your well-deserved entitlements? Do you need the bling, the bomb, and the luxurious? To a certain extent, we are all guilty of wanting everything all the time. Society leads us to believe we are somehow underprivileged unless we treat ourselves and our families to the best of everything. And, today this view seems to be gaining favor. True, the rich afford their fabulous dwellings and expensive toys with money, real currency. Many more of us, however, find our debts mounting because we use credit to get what we want, not necessarily to get what we really need. We become consumed with spending to keep up and to find more pleasure. Money has become the master of nearly every struggling family, and as slaves to money, we let money extend its control into every facit of our lives- our leisure activities, our friendships, and our marriages. To a certain extent, money has always ruled the individual in our capitalistic society. I don't want that system to change, and I certainly admire those who have worked hard for their monetary rewards. I admire many of my rich, disciplined, hard-working friends, but I also value my poorer, struggling friends who live within their means without the burning desire to have it all. The word "satisfied" applies to many of these people. Throughout my life, I believe I have learned more about the true substance of life from those with a perspective that earthly possessions do not have to be extravagant to be valuable. These people have found peace and happiness without much money. They often treasure simple pleasures, and they find ways to celebrate their existence in simple, inexpensive ways. While living with less, they experience more- more freedom, more joy, and more love than similar poor people strapped with debt and money worship. Now, I know society demands us to spend more all the time. Even to keep a child in fashionable clothes and popular activities costs to the extreme. Yet, can we take away a little societal pressure from these things? Is there value in teaching respect for the affordable? I'll let you answer that hypothetical. Desire is inevitable, even necessary, but not uncontrollable. Restraint is certainly not an easy virtue to learn and much, much harder to live. Still, I think it's about time to restrain the overpowering desire for money that controls the best things in life. I guess that rules me out for the sprawling mansion on the hill, the gigantic yacht, and the sleek new Porsche.
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