The world in which my four little grandchildren live is rather simple. Unlike many of us, they are content with the basics. I miss the innocence and simplicity of my childhood.
When I was their age, Dad worked hard, and Mom worked just as hard in the home to care for her husband and her four children. We lived in an old house with no AC or central heat, but it met our needs. Our television was black and white. The only channel we had was CBS. Our news came from the evening paper, the evening news, and my grandmother. She seemed to know what was going on before the local editor or news staff.
My first car was a 1964 Ford Fairlane two-door hard top. I bought it from Milton Houmes for $250.00 with money I had saved from my paper route. It was not an automatic and didn’t have air conditioning or a fancy radio, but it met my needs.
For those of us who can remember the days I described above, we have learned that things don’t bring us lasting contentment and peace. An old saying goes something like this. “Things weigh me down in life. I never feel quite free, for I don’t know if I own my things or if my things own me.” Take a moment to let that quote sink in.
Life isn’t easy these days. Our culture seems to be about two degrees below the boiling point. Perhaps, if we sat down and had meals together again and turned the television off, we would find the tensions easing just a bit. I miss the childhood walks and bike rides, sitting with neighbors on a summer evening, or just enjoying nature and letting minds and conversations wonder.
Sometime ago I was in a room with two other couples. There was very little conversation because all four were glued to their phones. Life is short and passes quickly. It is not too late to put the phone down and observe what is going on around us; nor is it too late to cut the cord (cable), declare a tech free zone or time, or learn how to converse again. Being content with the basics is a choice. My parents’ generation survived on a lot less than we seem to require. Just like my little ones, they are still content with the basics.
Making sense of life is learning to cherish what is truly priceless.
Elder Source Senior Ministries
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