I’ve been watching TV; ok, I’ve been mesmerized by Netflix. Instead of looking for what is new, I’ve been watching older shows. Over the years, I’ve seen all the Twilight Zone episodes from the 1960’s until I have them memorized, so I started with Night Gallery, which ran in the 1970’s (that one I actually remember as first runs). Yes, the stories are hokey by today’s standards, but I watched the people. Seeing so many stars when they were so young. The hair, the clothes, and the furniture was amazing. It was just like stepping back to being a kid. So I took it one step further, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which ran in the middle 1950’s. His stories have plotters who get their due in the end. No computers, no cell phones, few televisions, it was amazing how well they were doing. And money, wow, buying a new mansion house for a mere $25,000 a luxury car for $1500 and all the groceries a person could carry for $5.00 and still get change. Can any of us remember apartment buildings that had one phone on the first floor? The poor guy in the first-floor apartment had to answer the phone and yell up the stairs for the person being summoned. Can you imagine that today? Paying cash, no credit cards?
So think for a moment about what we have, and what we need. I walk through my home and there are items of memorabilia everywhere. Clothes and things I haven’t touched in over five years (since we have been in this home). And space…everyone from the 1950’s on out has been preoccupied with having the largest most luxurious home possible. I understand people with families need more room but I was raised in a two bedroom 24’x24′ home with parents and three sisters. How much actual room do we use in a home? What do we really need?
The Tiny House revolution has me thinking. I may never be able to live in 500 sq ft with a cat and a dog (and hopefully a husband), but the idea is correct. Paring down to what we need. Finding multiple uses for items instead of having a dedicated utensil for every process. Using the living space and discarding the rest. The idea to stop paying room, board and utilities for ‘stuff’. Living more simply and using the things God gives us every day. Solar power for a small home is not only feasible but a reality for many people.
It is cool to watch those old shows and watch the people in their lush mansions. But the middle-class people of that time made do with what they had. They lived on the cash at hand and what they could save. They are the people I really enjoy to watch. Maybe they had to scrape to have that $5.00 for groceries, but they knew it. They didn’t run up credit for things they didn’t need and couldn’t afford. They worked, they budgeted, and they lived without debt. Eating out was something special, not the norm. They were the people that made America great.
I see all those slogans for making America great again. America will be great again when we get back to basics and stop loading our lives with outrageous debt. Seeing commercials where movie stars brag about credit cards that pay you 5% cash back on what you buy…5% cash back one time so they can charge 24% forever, and we just don’t get it. What we need to make America great again is to make Americans great again. One person at a time, one household at a time. Maybe we all need to wade through the hokey dialog in older shows and watch the people and how they lived. They were the Americans who made America great.
Personally, I think America is pretty great anyway, but those slogans break my heart. Sure there have always been greedy crooks, rich people, poor people and middle-class people. But we didn’t turn the greedy bastards into heroes back then. The heroes worked and didn’t make their living off the exorbitant interest they charged the working guy. When you made a loan back then you borrowed the money at whatever % they charged (one time) and you paid a set number of payments. If you paid it off early whoo hoo. Now not only is the interest charged daily, monthly, or yearly, interest is paid FIRST. A person doesn’t even touch principal until all the interest is paid. America was great when people cared about people more than they cared about money…
So think. What do you really need?
It’s that simple.
What do we really need?