Thursday, August 14, 2008

Keeping up with the Jones... Why do we do it?

Well, let me put this out there, I do not do it, I cannot afford to do it, and Ive learned its fruitless to attempt to. First of all, having enough money for your needs makes for an easier life. Having food, shelter, clothing and not worrying is a great thing! But having or trying to keep up with others is exhausting, unnecessary and not worth the time, effort and debt.

Why do we feel the need to have "stuff" and why do we want the same stuff that everyone else has? Once I got out of my early years I never understood it. Does having the same giant car, the same cookie cutter house, the same designer clothes, the same rail thin emaciated body as your neighbor make you just as happy? Just as rich? Just as content as they are? Because I bet that they are just as miserable as the rest of us, poor and rich alike.

Things do not make us happy, if they did there would be less celebrities OD'ing, drinking, drugging and doing other bad things. What makes you happy isn't even having a great husband, adorable kids and a job you don't mind going to (although it sure doesn't hurt!) its what is inside all of us. Once you accept life and what it has to offer you, and teach you, and test you with... you can never be truly happy. At least that's what I have learned in my life. Accepting what you have, appreciating it and striving to be a better person, a better mom/sister/friend/ is what life is all about.

Learning about ourselves and others... Art, books, food, sunsets, children laughing, watching our pets scamper about, laughing with a friend, keeping a secret, traveling to a different place and trying to understand its people, making mistakes and not repeating but learning from them, loving our spouse, not giving ourselves up for them, being a family and forgiving others... there are so many more things that make a rich, successful and fulfilling life. These are just the ones that are important to me.

Money is simply a means to an end. If you live your life keeping up with others and trying to emulate "rich folks" then you will end up with a fat bank account perhaps, but an empty and bereft soul.

8 comments:

R.L.Scovens said...

Keeping up with the Joneses is not all it's cracked up to be! It a GREAT DEAL of work and we have no idea how unhappy some of the Joneses really are! We just know what they look like!

Denise said...

I agree with this! I don't think money and fancy cars/clothes/botox/lipo/whatever could ever buy you happiness! I too agree it comes from within and the more people try to strive for "perfection" the unhappier they can become. :(

Moo said...

you are right... but you knew I would agree with you... its too exhausting and too fruitless to even try to keep up with anyone else

Kelley said...

Great post! I wonder how many soon to be forclosed on home buyers would be in the situation they are in right now if they did not try and keep up with the joneses?
Its about all I can do to keep up with my five year old...

Debateur said...

I confess I was stricken with the green eyed monster in my younger years but fortunately I've kind of found happiness with just being me.

Andrea said...

Ya know, you're right, it is pointless to try to be like anyone else. I know my husband and I could care less about what other's have. We would also love it if other people in our lives cared less about what WE have. Seems like some of our family and friends like to call attention to things we have or do and it is embarrassing. I wish they would just mind their own business and checkbook.

Michelle said...

I can't afford to keep up with the Jones either..don't get me wrong, I love to have nice things, but if it's out of reach, it's out of reach.. 'nuff said.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

One of the nice things about living in the country. No Joneses nearby and the ones we do see all drive beat up pick up trucks and clothes from Wal Mart. Though my garden is much much smaller than everyone elses so I have veggie envy.:)