This subject has been on my mind for a while now. We have been hearing so much lately about the economy. It is everywhere in the news. You can’t miss it. There is a lot of doom and gloom talk going on right now. Many, in the media, are comparing it to the Great Depression.
My thoughts though are they really that bad. Haven’t many before us survived much worse? And how bad is it really at this point? Yes, it may get a lot worse, but are we really at the Great Depression stage right now? I don’t think so. I don’t deny that things are not going well right now, but I don’t think we are at the Great Depression stage, at least not yet, that so many in media want us to think we are in. Yes, it may get that bad, but are we there yet?
Let me start off by saying that I grew up during some hard economic times in the late 70’s early 80’s. My dad spent several winters picking mushrooms and chopping firewood to pay bills because he could not find other work. You can read more about how I grew up in this post. So I do understand tough financial times. I feel for those who have lost jobs and are struggling to make it.
My thoughts go more to our society has a whole. My grandparents and probably a lot of yours really suffered during the Great Depression. They struggled for food. They ate what they could grow. My grandparents ate dandelion greens for many meals because that is what they could find. Many people went without food. We have probably all heard stories about having to make due with clothing that is worn out. People turned feed sacks into clothes. They were creative in reworking clothes to make the work again. People went without shoes. Are we there yet?
I think comparing our current suffering to the Great Depression generation dishonors what they went through. They suffered, at the current time we are not. We just think we are. Our current generation doesn’t know how to suffer. We are so spoiled. We think suffering is not being able to go out to eat. We think suffering is not being able to have cable TV or a cell phone. We think suffering is not having a lot of clothes or having to drive a 10 year old car. We think suffering is wearing second hands clothes. We think suffering is not having the latest gadget. But are those things really suffering?
Yes, we do live in different times then our grandparents. We can’t all grow our own food in our backyards. But I think the majority of Americans are a long way from starving. You can look at our obesity problem and know that. Yes, some may have a very tight budget, but most can still afford at least rice and beans and other main things. I also think many wouldn’t be struggling for food if they cut out other things. How many people complain about their grocery budget, but drive nice cars, wear really nice clothes, live in big houses, and eat out at least once a week.
My point is not that no one is suffering. My point is that overall our current generation does not know what the true meaning of suffering and sacrifice is. We want instant gratification. We want a quick fix. There is not one. Part of the reason we are in the situation we are in is because many people have lived beyond what they could. They wanted it all and you can’t have it all.
Life is full of ups and downs. The economy is full of ups and downs. We can’t always have everything we want, but that does not necessarily mean it is the Great Depression.