Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Random Thoughts~~

Instant Gratification - Does anyone else believe that part of the issue with society today is that people want things immediately...you know, that instant gratification thing the psychologists have been warning us about for years? I think maybe as a society, we've raised a couple of generations of folks who don't understand that good things come to those who wait, and work, and save..........

I mean, in this home, we wait for things and we seldom pay full price for anything. Yet all around us, raising the older two kiddos and now the younger one, are folks buying things and doing things that I wonder how they can afford. Right now, our Hunter is working his behind off to earn the money for an XBox 360....he's been hauling wheelbarrows full of dirt to our row of new box gardens; transplanting azaleas that are who knows how many years old in preparation for our addition of a side porch; weedwacking my sister's back yard (the whole thing because her lawn mower was locked in a shed whose key couldn't be found), finding buyers for his old systems because he was told he had to donate one to charity and sell the others before he'd be allowed to buy the XBox. And this weekend, he'll be heading over to our Vet's home to help her prepare her spring flower gardens. And when he's earned the money? Well, part of the deal was that he had to find a coupon, wait for a sale or buy a refurbished one. I'm hoping when he's an adult, he'll understand that you work and you wait, and you work harder and you wait, and eventually you can afford to buy it yourself...instead of asking the taxpayers to give it to you.


The Death of the Good Old Fashioned Phone Tree - I found out what happened to the good old phone tree! Some of you may remember them....before every kid had their own cell phone, the teachers and other leaders had to actually plan out field trips...they had to have a concrete itinerary so that parents would know when to pick up their kids after they'd had their fun! And in case of an emergency or a screwed up schedule, there was a phone tree in place....the teacher would call one parent who would call another parent and so on..all passing on the message that "hey, we're going to be about 30 minutes late arriving back to the school because of ~~~"......No longer. Last week, Hunter had a field trip of sorts.....and guess what time we were told they'd arrive back at the school? Between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m.!

I was frustrated by this....Hunter doesn't have his own cell phone...(David and I only have one because Nikki bought it for us - we cancelled our previous one when we moved down here) and he won't until he can pay for all of it himself....but he carried one on this field trip because I couldn't get a narrower time frame for that arrival back at school. I refused to sit in a dark parking lot in a not very good side of town for an hour and a half waiting on him. So he took that cell phone and just like all the other 11 - 13 year olds, he called me when they were 20 minutes from the school so I could be there to pick him up.

When I was expressing my frustration about this to Nikki and Dallas (both of whom have cell phones that THEY pay for themselves), Dallas said "well what was she supposed to do, she can't control everything"......hello? There was a time when no one had a cell phone and teachers did their best to plan and control things and when they couldn't, there was always that phone tree.......Kids having their own cell phones is what happened to the good old fashioned phone tree and allowed loose itineraries to rule the day.


When did luxuries become necessities? Cell phones are part of this portion of my random thoughts of today as well - along with flat screen t.v.s, laptops or desktops that are state of the art, a brand new car instead of a beater that one can afford and that gets you from point a to b where you work hard and earn the money to eventually upgrade.......which leads me to my final thought.....


When did the "right to pursue" become the right to have or get or take? I was reading replies to a blog the other day, one that was dated back during the election. There was one young lady who wrote "why should my parents have to sacrifice for me to go to college or why should I have to carry the weight of student loans to pay for it?" Excuse me? I don't think the constitution ever said that everyone has the right to be given anything......except the right to PURSUE anything that might make one happy......

David and I pursued our dream of one day owning and restoring an old farmhouse....no one gave this old house to us because we deserved it. Part of how we pursued it was by paying for our educations with student loans and scholarships we earned so that we could make a decent living; part of it was by NOT buying and paying for cell phones for our three kids just because everyone else had one; part of how we pursued it was by not owning brand spanking new cars every three years and by not spending hundreds of dollars each year on fancy vacations and by sticking to a budget and paying for things with cash and not credit, and by eating at home.......etc. etc.....we were married 21 years before we ever bought a new vehicle and even that was a previously owned one with about 800 miles on it.......we were married 21 years before our weekly date night included eating out at anything other then the Krystal or the Burger King except on special occasions. And our kids were taught to work for the things that they thought would make them happy.....they weren't given them because they somehow deserved to be given them by virtue of their simply being..... Hopefully, our kids will understand that they have the right to pursue the dream of homeownership and state of the art accessories to place in it through their own hard work and sacrifice and patience and not that the government owes them those things.

Now don't get me wrong....I'm behind the government providing the things we the people need...like good roads and safe bridges and police and fire departments and access to good health care...you know, the neccessities of life? But, I'm not so much behind the idea of the government taking the earnings of those who work hard to give we the people those luxuries like cell phones and college educations and dream houses and brand spanking new cars......

Unfortunately, as a society, we've not taught our children how to pursue.....we've not taught our children how to wait........we've not taught our children how to earn what makes them happy...and perhaps more importantly, we've not taught our children the difference between a necessity and a luxury.....and now if we're not vigilant, we'll get exactly what we ourselves have earned....a government that will take more and more of the wages of the worker, a government that will limit benefits to the older folks so that those behind them "can get there faster", a government who will take from others to pay for the luxuries of those who now think the right to pursue is the right to get it all and get it NOW. Which takes me back to the first random thought...............it just may be that instant gratification is what is driving our society now.......

Perhaps I should have titled this "Not so Random Gripes" instead of "Random Thoughts?........


  1. Amen! I heard today that even people who falsified information on their applications would be helped with their mortgages and that it would be followed up with $1,000 per year for five years to "help them with their payments"!! I am appalled and am, like you, wondering what in the world we are teaching our children!

  2. Thanks for replying.....I'm beginning to sense a movement...more and more of the conservatives out there are speaking up......and planning to send tea bags to our congress men and women and to the white house on April 1st.......


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