Finding treasure in the wilderness
A few days ago as the sun poured out of the mosquito free, crystal clear, blue sky I had a good conversation with some neighbors about people with a lot of wealth. During the give and take of the discussion we spoke of the possessions we would have if we were affluent. There was talk of paying for education and financial help for our children and grandchildren, a newer truck, a four wheeler and maybe even a new generator. The conversation was prompted by adds in the newspaper telling us that our lives would be better if only we bought this or that.
Now I believe that one of the advantages of living as we do out here on such a basic level shields us somewhat from these thoughts. After all we have learned after years of living without running water, regular electricity, phone or TV is that we can indeed do without some things and still be content. We are also spared the possibility of that uncomfortable feeling of listening to a neighbor tell us about the newest gizmo that makes their life so much easier and better.
Nothing lasts forever, but it sure seemed like it did!
So why is it I have craftsman power tools from the 1960’s here at the cabin that still work just fine, but the Ryobi and other tools we buy these days may only last a couple years and the battery goes dead even sooner? Why is it, people living in cities have to go out every couple years and replace the microwave, DVD player or TV and there are no longer people who repair appliances or TV’s? Why do they insist that we continually “upgrade” our computer to a faster or smarter one and then still have to ‘upgrade’ the software every few months?
It is for the same reason that we here in America no longer have the largest industrial base in the world… money! If you or I could take our old TV or gas stove to a repair shop it would only financially benefit the owner of the small business and not the corporation that built these things. Today everything is built as cheaply as possible and because of this is meant to fail. And the products that do last will have to be to be ‘upgraded’ or replaced by the latest ‘much better’ improved gizmo.
So back to the original thought are people who are rich happier?
I will admit they have much less to worry about, because when you have money you can buy or replace anything at any time, but is that happiness? As we sat on the porch and talked a knowing look passed between us as we realized that though we are not rich we were indeed wealthy in the sense of what we have.
Though with many aches and pains we have our health
Though we can’t grow all the food we eat we are never hungry
Though we do not have the latest of anything we have what we need
Though we can’t travel the world
we live in some of the most majestic wilderness that exists
…and though we live isolated we share the love of family and friends
we may indeed not be rich but we are surely blessed.