Sunday, January 4, 2009

What Would Grandma Think? Part 1

The other day while I was at the local fitness center walking briskly and going nowhere on the elliptical machine, I was reflecting on how absurd it is that I my life has become so sedentary that I have to pay a monthly fee to use a machine to stimulate my under utilized muscles. I wasn’t long into my pondering before I was interrupted by a 70ish year old looking gentleman talking loudly on a cell phone while riding a recumbent bicycle that was also going nowhere.

I couldn’t help but think, what would my grandma think if she were alive today, standing in this room watching a typical day in our modern lives? During her lifetime she witnessed the birth of things such the automobile, refrigerator, washing machine, television, microwave oven, calculator, cordless phones, personal computers, men walking on the moon and countless other things which we take for granted. She was a farmer’s wife, raised in a generation where you worked hard for a living and didn’t rely on the government to support you. You didn’t buy things if you couldn’t afford it and you took personal responsibility for your own financial well being. Respect had to be earned, not given and your word and reputation meant something.

Would she think we work as hard today as she did even though we don’t do the same physical labor? How would she feel about the fact that we spend more time working for others and less time doing our own work? Our lives have become busy working long hours and working extra hours from home that we end up paying others to do our yard work, clean our house and look after our kids. Would grandma think we’ve become too materialistic and centered on earning lots of money, so we can buy more stuff, so our lives will become more fulfilled?

I think her answer would be “bah, who needs this stuff.” Then she’d go outside for a walk and enjoy the people in her life.