Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Please Excuse the Soapbox...



So I know this has been said before, but I needed to say it again because it drives me crazy.

People, stop bellyaching about gas prices and the economy!

I am not completely inconsiderate, and I have great compassion for people who are desperately trying to make ends meet and cutting corners on everything while the gas and food prices rise. It's other people I have no sympathy for. A recent discussion with some -ahem- acquaintances of mine annoyed me just a little. It was all about how the Bush administration has caused the housing crisis, the mortgage crisis, people to default on mortgages and credit cards, higher gas prices, higher food prices, the recession, and all financial difficulties in general.

And yes, I know Pres Bush is not perfect. He has made mistakes. Big ones. And he is probably a little bit to blame for some of the issues at hand (ie some of the Iraq war decisions were probably not his best). BUT- And this is a BIG BUT (hee hee) - YOU CAN'T BLAME HIM FOR EVERYTHING! I get annoyed when people complain about how hard life is and how the government needs to fix it, when it was they themselves who got into TOO much DEBT! If you default on your mortgage because you tried to get a $400,000 home when you were pretty sure you could only afford a $200,000 home, you've got to own up to that! If you are complaining about the cost of groceries, get rid of your kid's cell phone, the cable TV, and eating out every day. Consolidate your trips so you're not using so much gas. Shop killer deals online and pay for shipping instead of driving to the mall to pay full price for something. Eat less meat and more rice and beans. Set the air conditioning at 78 or 80 degrees instead of 70 or 72. Stay home and play in the backyard instead of traipsing off to Disneyland. Be willing to give up some material stuff! Let's remember that some of those people "trying to make ends meet" are part of the 1 million people who already bought the new $200 + service contract iPhone that just came out...

I know that I don't understand what all people are going through. All I know is that we have one income (decent, but not six figures or anything) and three kids and we're still managing to set some aside in our savings. Sure, we haven't purchased our dream flat-screen with 50 billion speakers (sorry DH) or our grand piano or our drum set and my kids have only enough outfits to last them a week and then we wash and our house is not perfectly decorated, but we are doing fine. And we are cutting corners where we need to. And I have a list of things I would get rid of in order to save money if things get worse. I am not saying I'm perfect, and I'm definitely not trying to offend those of you who are struggling and trying as best as you can to provide for your families. I'm just talking about those of us who seem to think sacrificing something we WANT means the economy is in shambles and the government better hurry up and fix it.

A wise person once said, "It isn't what we look like, what we have, how much we make, the car we drive, the things we wear, or the people we know. It's who we ARE when all of that is taken away." (Actually, I'm sure somebody said something along these lines. If not, I guess I'm the profound one.) So I am trying to be less worried about what I have and more concerned about what people would see if everything was taken away. I'm far from reaching that goal, but I'm going to keep trying and hopefully instill this idea in my kids. Because you can't take it with you!

Just my soapbox. Thanks for letting me stand on it! (I had to blog about it because I can't say it directly to the face of those I'd like to say it to...)

Anyone with me on this? Anyone want to disagree with me? Totally open to it.

7 comments:

COOLWHIP said...

AMEN. I don't have lots of stuff, which is why i don't have any debt, which is why i can pay my bills, and i would get rid of my internet in a heart beat if it meant feeding my kids on my own. (i would get rid of my cable but i like it too much. jk, i don't have cable.)I'm on the same box. I know it would have been different if i were left in charge of the money, so i am grateful for the other/ better half.

Farrah said...

Hey Sharon! I've been following your blog for awhile (hope you don't mind) but I just had to say Amen to this one. I completely agree with you. Our home in Utah is still up for sale (11 months later) and we're paying double to keep that up and our place here in Texas. It's a small place, but we're managing because that's what you do. We're saving some and staying out of debt because we've made it a point to do so. It's hard, but hey, that's life. We suck it up and deal with it and things eventually get better. Thanks for speaking up!

Warner Family said...

You are wonderful! I could't have said it better my self. I am sure of that.
You are a rock star and my hero for not being afraid to speak the truth.

Kristy said...

Yep, totally agree. Some days I would like to inform all of those "poor" people out there to go to the homeless shelter and volunteer their time and see how bad it can get. And instead of spending $300 on their kids b-day party they should pay their bills and spend $30 on 1 present. In the end they will be teaching their children a better lesson.

I have a good life said...

First of all---you are ao right! MOST of the trouble we get ourselves into by living outside our means.

Secondly...that is one of the profoundest thoughts ever. I love that quote about who we really are! :) You are so wise.

Cheryl said...

I couldn't agree more. We are living in student housing where everyone is obviously struggling to make ends meet, but what just get's to me is that everyone expects the government to pay for everything,and they all talk about how they can't save any money, where we know what needs to be done, and we do what we have to to make ends meet, and then to put some aside in savings as well for a rainy day. I have the same soapbox, thanks for putting it on your blog though!

Emily said...

I know what you mean! Jared and I were at the gas station the other day and when we were pre-paying a guy came in yelling and screaming at the cashier about gas prices! Like he has something to do with the price of it! I felt so bad for the guy behind the counter... He took it all in stride and said it wasn't the only time he's been yelled at! lol Anyway - it's crazy.