I am a type of person that doesn’t naturally understand most social viewpoints. I understand other things though seemingly much better than others. I learned a long time ago to watch people to try and figure out what I was supposed to do by there viewpoints. I subsequently learned that I need to be my own person, as there are so many varied social structures that I could fit into, though they don’t fit me.
In watching people, I’ve seen many things I wouldn’t if I were just trying to fit in somewhere. I’ve lived a varied life, from powdered milk poor, to giving away hundreds to people that need it.
I recall living in louisiana, a regular meal was ramen noodles, or mac and cheese (it was much cheaper then), post toasties (no sugar) and powdered milk, if it ran out I learned that tea wasn’t so bad, and it put some sugar in it, so it was a treat, a snack between playing would be sliced cheese product on saltines. I recall the first year the garden was harvested, how the flavors burst in my mouth, how my body reacted, the energy jump afterwards.
I recall living in texas, sleeping in our car. Being grown, living in my truck in south carolina, eating one loaf of french bread and a 2 liter of walmart soda every 3 days.
Then I see young people acting like their parents are abusive when they don’t buy them all the new gadgets as they come out.
Sure they are neat, amazing leaps in technology, but they are just innovative, slightly more than toys.
I’ve known want, I’ve known need. I’ve known hunger where I felt like if I didn’t eat that very minute I would pass out and possibly not wake up again. I know addiction, I know the craving for a food that provides little to no nutrition.
I also know strength brought on by certain foods. I’ve known a soft warm bed, and sleeping on the ground.
Young and middle aged, most americans tend to have an ideal that luxuries are an entitlement. If you really think about it, and roof over your head is a luxury. Good food used to be all there was, now it’s a luxury. A comfortable place to sleep is a luxury, sometimes to the extreme. But interestingly enough, ground covered in a thick bed of grass can be a very comfortable bed, more so than many coil spring mattresses.
We need food that will provide good fuel. Cakes, pies, cookies, they are a luxury. Television, internet, ebooks, even books period are a luxury.
We are a society filled with luxuries, yet so many consider them as staples that should always be there. A fan in the window is a luxury, air conditioning is not a need.
We have surrounded ourselves with luxuries, yet the basic needs of humanity have been tossed aside in the process.
As a man, I learned that above all things, a woman wants safety, provision, security, and a good environment for children. Yet as a society, those are a high priced commodity, and even then, it’s not a guarantee. But I remember the poorest people, watching out for each other, and their community, and those things most important to women I have talked to, were provided in abundance.
Nearly everyone was happy. Not just accepting, but happy. Yet now, where I live, the people have so much, and nearly everyone is unhappy.
The more the people here have, the more they feel like they don’t have enough. It’s paradoxical, yet I remember a time, and my family remembers a time even further back, when people knew they were poor, didn’t have much, and didn’t care. They knew they had what they needed, and a few luxuries here and there. Yet somewhere along the line, they saw a view of a world that was trumpeted as all life should be, and they suddenly looked around and what they KNEW to be all they needed, suddenly wasn’t enough.
Now you can see a trend going back to the minimal lifestyle, because of the great lessons of life it teaches. You see communities banding together because basic things like water have been so ruined it can no longer be drank.
So many have been fed a sweet story, and ate it up. Myself included for a bit. Many first nations even ate up, and some still do eat up that sweet story. Yet so many don’t realize their teeth have rotted out from that same sweet story that was gobbled up.