Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Soak Up the Sun

Blake and I were talking the other day about money. It was a pretty simple conversation but one that got me thinking. Blake asked something that to me was very profound for his young age of 26. (I keep reminding him that he will be 30 in 4 short years!) He asked if being poor is an actual state of being or if it's just a state of mind. He has a point here. I have never really thought about it like that but I think he's on to something.

After much thought, I believe it's a state of mind. Some of the "poorest" people I have met are the most happy and content people I have met. They are the most willing to give of what they have and they never talk about what they don't have. On the other hand, some of the richest people I have met seem to talk about how they don't have this or how they want that. They are the ones that seem to be greedy with their money and have a harder time sharing. They seem to always want more and are never happy with what they have.

Now, I know this is a big generalization that I am making here. I realize not everyone is like this. But, in my 22 years of life, I have found that more often than not, this has been my experience when interacting with rich/poor people.

Sheryl Crow sums this post up best:
"It's not having what you want
It's wanting what you've got."

What are your thoughts/feelings on this?


Sara said...

Honestly, when I read the first few sentences of this post, I thought you were headed down a completely different stream of thought.

I thought you were going to say that in general, people are poor because they "think" poor. And vice versa. That is, poor people don't take financial risks or figure out a way to make it through some type of post-high school education. I can see that non-risk characteristic in my dad. I think a big reason why he doesn't have as much money as he wants is because he doesn't take sound financial risks. He grew up in an educator's home -- everything was all about financial security. Likewise, he doesn't take risks, and although he has plenty (all the necessary objects of life), I don't think he will ever be rich. He probably won't ever has all the money he wants. My mom grew up with a father who was definitely money savvy. He knew where to take risks. Likewise, so did my mom. Likewise, so do most of the kids in our family. Brooks and Blake, especially, think like rich men. They know when to take risks. That knowledge combined with hard work will make them rich, I think. Not as rich as the kids whose parents were both financially smart, though. But at least they're moving up.

Anyway, that's where I thought you were going with your post. As far as what you really wrote, though? I don't really know any poor or rich people. I know middle-class people. So I don't really know what the extremes are like.

Jacki said...

My family was once "rich". We lived in a 9000 square foot home. My dad got a new car every two years and my mom shopped all the time. Us kids got anything that we really wanted. I would say that we were really spoiled. Funny thing is, that was the saddest time of my family's life. It was a rat race that never ended. We were so much happier in our smaller home, driving our older cars. Life wasn't as stressful because we didn't have a reputation that seemed impossible to maintain. When you have material things like that, people expect you to be a certain way. Now my mom lives in a condominium in Hawaii and she is happier now then she has ever been. I am in a small apartment, but I have a wonderful relationship with my husband, family and friends. GREAT POST LINDS! The best financial investment/risk for me would be relationships... Good relationships really make you rich.

Anonymous said...

Well said comments by both Jacki and Sara. I agree, being poor is a state of mind.
When Summer and I were in the Hospital in OKC when she got diabetes at age 6, we stayed for 2 weeks. We were a family of 8 with 6 kids at the time. In the bed next to Summer was another recently diagnosed childe with diabetes and the mother and father could not stay in the hosp with the child because they had 10 children! I thought, they didn't even complain and they certainly didnt act poor. They were happy she was still alive and doing better. Another instance, I babysat at age 13 for a family who had just moved into our ward in Phoenix and they had 10 children under the age of 9. It was a humble abode with sweet sweet children and the family did not stay very long but I was able to see that you can get along on a lot less than most people are willing to try. I did not get paid anything for babysitting, nor did I want any monetary payment. I had payment enough; the knowledge that we can make it with far less than we think we can. I told dad we maybe should think of downsizing at our age. But I would have to have a place big enough for everyone to come home for holidays, because we love having all of you here. Everyone seems to be doing so well lately. I AM A PROUD MOTHER OF 10 happily productive and contributing adult children in the world, who have a definite handle on the REAL TRUTHS IN LIFE! HOOH RAH!!