I think it’s hilarious when I hear people who were born after 1975 say, “I want my child to have what I didn’t.” Granted, there were poor people then who struggled and did without, but the majority of Americans, even what you’d consider poor, had more than any previous generation. My dad worked to give me what he didn’t have; a house with running water and heat. Yes, those are things people in a civilized society need and deserve. However, for those who had Little Debbie cakes served to them every afternoon and a beta player or VCR, to your lament over luxury, I say, “Give me a break.”
If you’ve ever seen a Duck Dynasty episode you may have heard one or more of the family members speak fondly of the poverty they endured growing up. “We didn’t know we were poor.” I’m afraid that the standard of poverty for some today means having anything other than a smart phone, jeans that cost less than $20, and owning only one video game system.
Going without teaches you a lot of things. It teaches humility, self-reliance, and an appreciation for what you do have. It teaches that you don’t need thingsto be happy which forces you to look at your family and get along; things that really matter.
Having too much can teach you a lot of the wrong things. It can teach entitlement and a dependence on others and things for your happiness. It does not teach hard work but rather that luxury can simply be handed to you if you ask the right way.
What did you do without? Maybe you did without some comforts and are working to ensure a better lifestyle for your family so they have fewer worries which will enable them to succeed beyond your level. That’s good.
Maybe you did without some basic teachings like empathy, commitment and honesty. That’s what’s missing in our homes today. Instead of more and more toys for Christmas, our kids need things that you can’t touch; they need character.