“Do not say, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.” – Ecclesiastes 7:10 NKJV
I was born during the Great Depression. I can remember occasionally being awakened at night with a loud boom! My dad always put the shotgun beside his bed at night in case he heard a commotion in the chicken house. If he did hear something, he would go outside, shoot the shotgun up in the air to scare away anyone who might be trying to steal chickens. You see, people were so hungry then that even people who were normally very honest were doing what they could to feed their families. Why didn’t he just let them have the chicken? If he had done so, there would have been others doing the same until no one had chickens. By keeping the chickens, at least we could have eggs to eat.
I can also remember seeing a man sitting on the step of the house eating a plate of food that my mom had fixed. Often men would come and ask if we needed some kindling split for our wood stoves to earn a plate of food. Since we lived on a small farm, we had cows, chickens, and a garden. That kept us going, and my folks shared what they could.
It was times like these that shaped “the greatest generation”. We learned to appreciate and fight for what we had. By contrast, children raised now often have so much that they are overweight and don’t take care of their toys. Parents actually fear that they may pout if the desired Christmas gift is not obtained.
Now is an opportune time to work with children about the reality that they may not always have the nice things they currently have. Let’s face it. Much of our medicines come from China and there have been indications that they want to take over our country. We hear on the news that there are thousands of cyber attacks each day in our country. Should the computer go out, how much money would each of us have? Banks use computers! We could find ourselves without electricity and water. Children are apt not to get what they want this Christmas. Now is the time to talk with them and prepare, as much as possible, for some of the things that could happen.
No one likes to scare children. We don’t like to think of these things ourselves. However, by teaching children to be resourceful and that love, not material possessions, is the most important part of our lives, we have done a good thing! Perhaps it is time to help children make gifts. It may be a time to put more emphasis on taking care of and appreciating what we have. On the top of our list of things to be thankful for should be love, not material things. Thanksgiving is a time to say thanks to our Creator for loving and caring for us.