One of my USSR immigrant patients informed me that ‘equality’ only works until people realize they get paid the same for tiny potatoes as they do for big ones.
This is how I explain it to my children (remember there are 7 of them, so we have a variety of personalities…).
If I gave $100.00 to each of you every week, what would happen?
A few of you would spend it right away, and still have nothing at the end of the week. You would be complaining that you had no money for whatever you needed and would ask for more.
A few of you would not spend anything, or maybe $5 here and there for the barest neccessities (Ramen Noodles) and have a huge amount saved up at the end of the year.
And some of you would budget wisely, spend enough to meet your needs and a few wants, and save a little as well. (This is probably the happiest way to live…)
The people who spent it all on the first day would be mad that their brother who usually did not spend a dime (we know who this is in our house) had so much- it would be ‘unfair’ and he was ‘lucky.’ In their childishness they would not see how many times he sat there without a soda or other ‘extra’ while they splurged.
The people who saved would see the ones who splurged as ‘stupid’ and ‘careless’ and perhaps even label those who spent some and saved some in the same way, saying, ‘If you had been like me, you would have all this right now,’ not realizing that money is a tool, and, if used wisely, makes life more enjoyable.
Life is not fair- we all know this. But many times it is not merely what we were given, but how we use it, that determines how much we have and whether or not we enjoy ourselves.
Another life lesson that has been repeated to me by some great Bible teachers is that you cannot give what you do not have. Generosity, which is not only the giving of money, but the giving of time as well, cannot be practiced if you have neither. Working hard enough, and obtaining skills so you are paid well enough so you don’t have to work all day, is important for a balanced life. There may be sacrifices at first, but there needs to be a path and a plan to a life you will find comfortable enough to be generous as well.
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