Thursday, April 26, 2012

Have I Done Any Good?

There is a movement in this country that disturbs me.  When did success become evil?  What happened to cheering for the underdog who succeeds at the American dream?  When was sharing in the happiness of others replaced by envy and greed?

My family is not wealthy.  We live in a neighborhood that my children have dubbed "the ghetto" although I take issue with that description.  I don't consider us poor because we have a roof over our heads, we have always had food on the table, our children had shoes and coats, and somehow the bills eventually were paid.  In the years when we were raising our children, there was often very creative financing happening.  I admit to robbing Peter to pay Paul.  I remember taking a sewing needle and punching a tiny hole in one of the zeros at the bottom of a check so that it would take an extra two days to be processed through the bank.  Note:  This no longer works because of advancements in technology, so don't try it.  My children thought that liver and onions was steak until they reached high school and someone ratted on me.  We ate a lot of tuna casserole.  I shopped at garage sales and thrift stores. My children wore hand-me-down clothing.  No, we were not rich.

So what?  So what if my children got through school without a computer or the internet?  So what if they never had a game boy or a cabbage patch kid?  So what if every tricycle and bicycle they ever owned had fallen off moving trucks and were found by their Dad as he worked in the freeway landscape?  It just isn't important.  Our life as a family is what is important.  The kids learned to live in the real world.  They learned to work for what they own, and they learned that there are more important things in life than money.

BUT -- and this is a big BUT -- So what if many of my children's friends came from money?  My children had friends from all walks of life.  Some of their friends were very poor, while some of their friends came from wealthy families.  So what?  My children were taught to respect all people.  We would never have looked down on their friends who came from families who did have trouble putting food on the table, or clothes on the children's backs.  On the other end, we would never have taught our children to be envious of those children who had the game boys, computers, and cabbage patch kids.  We taught our children to appreciate what they had, and not covet the material things that some of their friends possessed.  We taught them to look at a person by what is in the heart; not the wallet.  That goes for both ends of the spectrum.

There are some wealthy people in America.  Good for them!  Most of them have worked very hard for it.  They have achieved the American dream.  That's wonderful!  I'm happy for them!  They stand as a testament to hard work and diligence.  Some wealthy Americans inherited their money from their parents.  Good for them!  Good for their parents!  What parents don't want to leave a legacy for their children?  They have succeeded!  Good for them!  I'm happy for their success.

There seems to be an entire movement dedicated to taking down the wealthy and portraying them as evil and greedy individuals. I'm sure there are some who are evil and greedy.  I'm equally as sure that most of them are wonderful people who serve others quietly and donate a good portion of their wealth to charity.  Is it necessary for them to shout their good works from the rooftops? I would hope not.  Instead of judging them, maybe we should look in our own backyard.  Maybe instead of asking questions about how the rich are spending their money, we should be asking ourselves, "Have I done any good in the world today?"


  1. I stopped by to read a different article and stayed a bit longer to read this one. Fabulous article.

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by.