Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday June 17. 2005 Another day

Another day, another dollar - or so the old saying goes.

There actually was a time when men would work for a dollar a day. Inflation must not have been a problem back then. Back then, a penney saved was a penney earned (and a penney amounted to something). My grandfather came over to America in the 1880s and after finishing 4th grade, went to work in a packing plant for 5 cents an hour. Do you wonder why the child labor laws were enacted? Later he was given a man-size job for 10 cents an hour. You worked at least 10 hours a day for 6 days a week with no overtime. So you really did make a dollar a day. You walked to work and you had no leisure time so you didn't have much on which to spend the money you didn't have. There were no movies or radio or television to watch back then - but that was good because there was no electricity either. There were no automobiles, so there there weren't any shopping malls or fast food places to drive to. Since there wasn't any electricity, you cooled your food with an ice box and you used gas lights. Life was simpler? I guess you were too tired to really care about anything else but keeping food on the table and a place to live. Except on Sunday, when you and the whole family had a whole day off. You can bet they didn't fool around with cutting the grass - they didn't really care about having lawns. Sunday was a day to walk in the park ad breathe the fresh air. Life really was simpler on Sunday. You worked hard and didn't get to play much, but you tried your best and tried to build a future for your kids.

But that was long ago and another time. Now we are so concentrated on consuming and enjoying the moment, we often forget to build a future. You really need a bit of both. It's good to enjoy the life you are living and its good to build for the future. The trick is to balance the present wants with the future needs. The good old days were not really all that great - they were just different. We squander a lot more these days - I'm not sure that this is better.

Another day, another hundred dollars.

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