As a career professional, volunteer, mom, wife, and friend, I focus on the positive aspects of life, even when the road is rough getting there. Life is funny. How you treat others, how you handle situations, and how you live each day is your responsibility ... so are the outcomes.
"The Jones" are a make-believe family everyone strives to be like. They range in age, race, size, education, and personalities, yet the one thing in common is people trying to keep up with them. "The Jones" are ruining people's financial well-being and destroying our children. They are teaching people to not think for themselves and what they need to sustain life, like the basics first; food, shelter, clothes.
They are teaching people, "I want what they have" and "I deserve what they have" even, if they have not earned it or cannot afford it. Let's bring things back to reality and remember material things, huge homes, and fancy schmancy cars do not constitute happiness, replace quality family time, or build forever friends (BFFs.)
TVs, computers, video games, etc. should not be the babysitters or the replacement for family time, because you "don't have time." If you had time to make the family, make time to enjoy the family. It gets my goat to see our nation has one of the highest obesity and attention deficit issues in children. Let's see...eat "fast" - outside time is almost non-existent - crayons and blank paper have been replaced by computers / TV's...what would you expect the results to be!
In my day, "The Jones" were the two adults and three kids, who shared one bathroom in a three bedroom salt box. Dinner meant you were home and at the table with your family. My family, to this day, calls it social hour, meaning time to catch up on the day’s business. It was an opportunity for parents to instill values, expectations, and god forbid - RULES of the HOUSEHOLD.
Now, if each kid doesn't have their own bedroom with on-suite bath, it is a deal breaker buying a home. By the way, who the heck cleans the monster house, anyway? That's right, the maid. Kids...have chores?...earn money?...what a novel concept. The value of a dollar means nothing. "I am entitled to the world" thinking is creating a generation lacking respect for their elders / each other and has them believing working is a pastime, not a responsibility leading to their self sufficiency.
Paper routes, babysitting, dog walking, cutting grass, shoveling snow. If you wanted it, you better get your hind end out there and find a way to earn it. If it wasn't a necessity or a reward given for achieving a goal, you needed to pay for it yourself. If it meant enough to have it, we found a way (legally.)
No meant NO. There was no giving in to temper tantrums, because you "just couldn't take it anymore." Temper tantrums got you grounded or privileges taken away.
Sassy and lying mouths were washed out with soap.
Was growing up really that bad? At the time, it may have seemed like it. Today, I could not be more grateful.
What ever happened to walking or riding bikes two blocks to the corner store to get milk and double stuff Oreos or Wonder bread, Skippy peanut butter, & grape jelly? You never felt bad eating it. You knew you'd be burning the calories when you hopped back on your banana, seat bikes to go to the neighborhood park / pool. A car...for two blocks...you have got to be kidding me!
Red rover, Frisbee, catch, outside hide-and-seek between eight houses, hop scotch, double-dutch jump rope, Bloody Mary (tag game, not the cocktail) at dusk, tea - cup - saucer - out, pulling the neighbors junk out of their garbage and making spaceship "treasures"...am I bringing back memories for anyone? These were some of the games, which not only were workouts, they helped shape our imaginations, burn energy, and build face-to-face friendships.
We had the "pack mentality." Parents did not worry about us kids going outside to play. The buddy system really meant you were with your buddies and you traveled in groups, no matter what. In fact, we could not wait to get outside to be daredevils on our bikes or build the best snow fort. Bumps, scrapes, bruises..if you didn't have them, you just weren't "cool." Unless it was broke or needed stitches..."rub a little dirt in it."
Penmanship, Speech, Reading, Arithmetic...I am appalled how many kids can't write, spell, add / subtract in their heads, or pronounce words correctly. The whole idea of shortening words, purposely misspelling words, slang speech sounding like you have marbles in your mouth, and using a calculator to add 2 +2 is a disgrace to foundation of education. We are teaching and ALLOWING children to be lazy.
"The Jones" are NOT the future.
The future is returning to life necessities, structured households with enforced rules, and raising children to be respectful, educated, responsible adults.
Food For Thought:
Cop-a-squat & take a look at what would need to change in your life to 1.) be a one income family affording only the necessities, 2.) rein your children in by spending quality time, engaging them in outside activities, and establishing no-means-no, 3.) build face-to-face friendships, and 4.) step away from the TVs / computers / text messages. It would be a great start to rebuilding families, health, and the economy (live within YOUR means.)
Honest reflection time and realistic soul searching about you, not "The Jones," will bridge the gap between where you are now and where you what to be in the future.