Yesterday CG and I were having a conversation about whether this country is really in as bad of a condition as some of those talk radio show hosts tell us it is.
We hear how bad the economy is all the time. I sometimes have to agree as I see feed prices going up and so many horses going to slaughter….it’s hard to sell a horse anymore for any real money and horse breeding is not the lucarative hobby it may once have been.
But in really thinking about it, maybe the decline in the horse industry is not so much that people can no longer afford their horses as it is that people have gotten in over their heads with an expensive, very expensive, pastime, and then had a shift in priorities and decided that maybe they didn’t really need so many horses after all. Or any horses. And, being backyard horses with little professional training and less than steller breeding, their owners soon found they either had to give them away or send them to the auction to get a few bucks on them. Is that predicament really caused by the economy or people’s personal choices?
It’s hard to swallow the doomsday economy mentality when you watch shoppers reaching for the latest expensive gadgets, plunking down a weeks salary for the latest iphone, flat screen tv, ipod, video game, etc. And how many people during the day do I see wearing holy jeans? Usually just one, me.
My yearly salalry is probably is very small compared to the average person, and yet I can afford to feed (although not easily) six horses, 15 goats, dogs, cats and chickens, plus two humans and still have money left over for groceries, gas, electricity, internet, occasional splurges on the grandbaby, and vet bills for my dog with cancer.
None of this is easy, but should I blame a failing economy on it, or my own life choices? Most people I know still have a job. Many, like myself, have made their own jobs and are their own bosses, and get to spend their companies money any way they want.
If coffee jumps to $75 a can, I’ll quit drinking it. In fact, I already have. Cigarettes at $10 a pack? Well, I’ve never smoked, but maybe more people would have to quit. Escalating costs for insurance and medical care? Why do we end up so unhealthy and need so much care? Our government is not going to save us from ourselves.
To me it seems we’ve become so accustomed to luxury items that it’s now hard to afford the weekly grocery bill….and this Christmas we will see people, (including myself) pinching pennies and complaining about the electric bill, while spending dollars they don’t really have on things nobody really needs.
I LOVE Christmas. I love the spirit of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the angels singing in every store, the lights, the decorations, the goodwill, the warm fires, the hot chocolate, the carolers, the gifts, and glitz, but how many shoppers still have homes, whether rented or owned, how many arrive at the stores decked out in warm clothes and driving late-model cars with heat and air-condtioning?
I would wager that even the worst off of us have a roof to live under, heat most of the time, food on a regular basis, and our children get the best education public school can provide them. Sure, I can’t go out today and buy the new truck I really want, but instead of wanting a new truck, or a new iphone and feeling deprived and mad at the government, maybe I could lower my expectations, be happy with what I have, and figure out how to make do with the blessings I’ve already been given.
And that’s just my 2 cents for the day.
Image by Getty Images via @daylife