Keeping up with the Jones–philosophical stuff

Budget101 Discussion List Archives Budget101 Discussion List Keeping up with the Jones–philosophical stuff

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      Hi folks,
      It is so hard not to compare oneself with others.
      I do it way too much, even while we’re trying to teach the kids not to

      What follows are a few thoughts on what happens in my head when I think
      about material possessions, otherwise known as “stuff”. Feel free to
      delete if you’re here for practical tips. I am too, but it all starts
      in the head for me, I think. My actions don’t change permanently unless
      my thoughts change.

      One thing that helps me when I’m feeling “poor” or deprived,(which I’m
      is to think in terms of world standards. America is a rich country.
      By world standards I’m wealthy.
      I have a house,
      I have clothes,
      I have food,
      I have TV,
      I have a computer,
      I have books,
      I have music,
      I have a car,
      I have furniture,
      I have choices.

      Many people around the world lack most of those things. Thinking that
      way transforms my ancient beatup car, my battered furniture, my
      house-in-need-of numerous repairs, my limited wardrobe and sometimes
      limited menu into treasures. And the books, printed music, recorded
      music, piano, and computer are absolute luxuries!!
      This might seem like head games, but it is really true that Americans
      have so much! Of course the struggle is that we don’t live in India or
      some such place–we live next door to or work with or go to church with
      somebody who may have more and we look at them and aren’t content.
      That’s why i love this list–there are other people like me!!

      The other thing I think about is what lasts.
      I had the opportunity to speak at my father’s funeral a couple of weeks
      a couple of days before I read something, and thought, “That was my Dad!
      That describes him exactly!”
      I read it at the service, and have been thinking about it ever since.
      When I thought about his life, and how little he’d acquired in terms of
      but the impact his life has had on many people (starting with his kids),
      I know I’m on the right track even though we don’;t have what many of our
      peers do.They say you can’t take it with you and you can’t take the
      “stuff ” but what Dad took with him was a healthy relationship with God
      and healthy relationships with people.
      Here’s the quote I read:
      “Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth,
      where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal,
      but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
      where neither moth nor rust destroys,
      and thieves do not break in and steal.
      For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
      (from the Sermon on the Mount)
      New Testament, Matthew 6:19-21


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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Budget101 Discussion List Keeping up with the Jones–philosophical stuff