Wondering about change

Published 11:14 am Monday, September 15, 2008



That’s all you hear about these days.

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“Change. We need change.”

But, I’m not exactly sure what “change” we’re talking about.

We live in the greatest country on earth. We don’t know anything about living a hard scrabbled life.

And, folks, as the song says, the cotton is high and the living is easy.

Oh, sure, the gas prices jump 20 cents overnight and our utility bills are through the roof. But, we’re still riding and our homes are climate controlled and somebody picks up our garbage and hauls it off.

If we want something to eat, we run-thru the drive-thru or pop something in the microwave. We sit back in our “lazy” boys and surf the channels with a remote control and get instant information by punching a key.

We have electric windows in our cars, throwaway diapers for our babies and exterminators for our bugs.

We have doors that open upon approach and toilets that flush when you disembark.

Why, we don’t even have to wind our watches.

That’s cause to wonder what we need to change.

And among those clamoring most for change are legions of young adults. What do they want to change?

Compared to young people in most other countries, they were born with silver pacifiers in their mouths. They are the designer generation. They wear seventy-five dollar shirts emblazoned with a man on a horse. They tote pocketbooks that cost more than a social security check and they know the name of the manufacturer of the “tennis” shoes they wear.

When they get married, they don’t get pots, pans, pillowcases and towels. They are “listed” and family and friends are “invited” to help decorate their houses and in their preference of colors.

Isn’t it rather odd that, in these change-needing times, young couples step up when they get married rather than down as their parents’ generation did.

They have new houses with new furniture and new cars and they don’t even have to have money to get these things. They just wave plastic around and pay later.

Back in my day, when couples got married, they didn’t suddenly have more than their parents had accumulated in 30 years of toil. They stepped down and tried to work up.

The first apartment that I had as a young married woman had a bathroom that had been converted from a closet. You could sit on the commode, take a shower and brush your teeth in the lavatory all at the same time.

When we moved out into a brand new 12-foot wide trailer, I thought that I had died and gone to heaven.

When I got a washing machine when the first baby was born, I was sure I had died and gone to heaven. And, I knew if I wanted to stop hanging the clothes out on the line, things were going to have to change.

The belt would have to be tightened. We would have to skimp and save. No more frozen pizza on Saturday night or ice creams at the Dairy Queen.

It never occurred to me that Uncle Sam should bring about the change that would make my life easier and better. I kind of thought that it was up to me to do that.

I still think that way.

I don’t need to depend on the government to make my life better. Nobody owes me anything. If I want change in my life, then it’s up to me.

But I feel blessed to have what I have. We are a blessed nation. So many around the world have so much less and some have almost nothing at all. They have cause for change.

So, those among us who are screaming for change had better think twice. They just might get it.