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How To Live A Simple Life and Enjoy It Daily
See the smile a-waitin' in the kitchen, food cookin' and the plates for two.
Feel the arms that reach out to hold me, in the evening when the day is through.
“Summer Breeze” lyrics by Seals and Croft
I blame Karl Marx for this whole mess that we call capitalism.
Henry David Thoreau is my personal god with regards to consumerism.
The television show “The Waltons” is my idea of what America should look like.
Welcome to the Simple Life!
Good night John Boy! Good night Mary Ellen! Good night Ma! Good night Pa!
Yes, like Rascal Flatts, I miss Mayberry, and I’m doing my damndest to return to those days.
“(Well) I miss Mayberry
Sitting on the porch drinking
Ice cold Cherry Coke
Where everything is black and white
Picking on a six string
Where people pass by and you call
Them by their first name
Watching the clouds roll by
THE BEGINNING OF TROUBLE RIGHT HERE IN RIVER CITY
Would you like to lay blame on someone’s doorstep? Well then open your front door and drop it there, folks, because there is nobody to blame but ourselves. In truth, this thing called consumerism has been around since the ancient days of Babylon.
The term, though, came into play in 1960 when it first appeared in the Oxford Dictionary. Consumerism was then defined as “an emphasis on or preoccupation with the acquisition of consumer goods.”
Sound familiar? It should because it is all around us. Corporations continue to rack up huge profits because of our love of consumerism. Historically the term finds its roots back in the 17th Century when there is reference to a rising middle class that was preoccupied with purchasing to excess.
Where is that middle class now? It is shrinking at best and quite possibly soon to disappear from the American scene. At least back in the 17th Century you had to pay with cash to acquire goods. That must have really cramped the style of those who had limited incomes. No worries! By the early 20th Century we had solved that little problem by introducing installment buying. You know, buy now and pay later! Give us ten bucks, we’ll give you a product worth $150, and you can make monthly payments until you pay the full amount of $180. That idea sounded good to millions of hard-working folks who wanted a taste of the good life but could not afford it, and in theory everything would be fine as long as those hard-working folks had the money for those future payments and as long as their jobs were kept and incomes adjusted to inflation.
Oops! There’s a fly in the ointment! What happens when the jobs disappear and income does not keep pace with inflation? Well, what happens is the year 1929 (did I say 1929? I meant to say 2013…silly me) and an economy that just can’t seem to right itself no matter how many times the government makes adjustments.
Good night John Boy! Goodbye Mayberry! Hello the United States of the Rich!
WELCOME TO THE SIMPLE LIFE
I honestly have nothing against the rich, or for that matter the upper-middle class. I do not understand the extravagant spending but I don’t dislike them because of it. I do not understand the theory that bigger is better, and I don’t subscribe to the old saying that he who has the most toys wins. I think that kind of spending is ridiculous and total nonsense, but to each their own and let God sort it out in the end.
I shake my head at those who still use credit cards, because I know from personal experience the folly of that way of thinking. I am confused by those who think money buys happiness as if there could ever be a price tag on peace of mind.
Now that kind of thinking I understand. I have totally embraced the simple life. I have bought into the economic concept of “needs vs wants” and I now have my own little house in Mayberry.
What does our house look like? Well, it’s nothing special from the outside. It’s just your standard post-WWII three-bedroom rambler, less than 2,000 square feet, with paint peeling and repairs mounting. It is showing its years, but despite its age it still protects us from the elements and keeps us warm at night.
Inside, though, is where the real story exists. Inside you will find Bev and I, and Bev’s daughter Allora, and from time to time one of our other kids, and of course three dogs and a cat, and it all adds up to love and family and contentment. Yes the walls have insulation, and the windows have weather-stripping, but the real warmth is provided by the love in this house. If you were to walk in right now you would be greeted by smiles and welcoming words. You would share with us a modest meal and the air would be filled with laughter and friendship.
You see, we are happy with our lives. We want for nothing and we have everything we need. Of course there are times when money is tight and we wonder how we are going to make the next utility payment, but we always find a way. We cut back when we have to, and when we have a little excess we have a small celebration, and life is damn good.
A RECIPE FOR THE SIMPLE LIFE
I can hear the questions. How do you get the simple life? How do we return to the days of old when life wasn’t so hectic and there were fewer demands on our time? Well my friends, I have a very simple recipe for you to follow.
· Take one cup of common sense
· Mix it with an equal measure of self-control
· Toss in a dollop of need
· Strain out any excess want
· Sprinkle on a healthy layer of willingness
· Bake until done in an oven of love
And it’s that simple!
A Moment With Bill
NO IT’S NOT FOR EVERYONE
Honestly, I can’t see Bill Gates giving up his mansion in Medina and joining the rest of us at Goodwill, but he will have to live with that choice. As for me, I’m as rich as Mr. Gates and twice as happy. I know the good life when I see it and I’m not giving it up.
If you are ever in the neighborhood drop on by and visit with us. We will be the family sitting on the front porch drinking our ice cold Cherry Cokes and smiling our asses off.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)