That’s what a friend told me she saw on a bumper sticker today. And it’s a good mantra. Particularly on a day like today, Halloween, or for those of you with kids, Helloween.
I’m kidding. Sort of.
I love seeing the kids in their costumes. And they love it too.
What I don’t love is the insatiability that rears its ugly head at holidays like this. I mean, if things are bad now, how will they be at Christmas? Birthdays?
My kids are old enough to compare and contrast and count, so they know when one or the other got more “loot” from their school/class. Today my son was in tears and full pout mode because my daughter got more (crap) than him. It wasn’t that he didn’t get treats at his school, (he did), but he didn’t get as many. Argh.
I was vacillating between warning him about going all Veruca Salt on me, and feeling for him, because for a small child these injustices seem so large. Somewhere in between chiding him for greed and consoling him for being sad, he calmed down.
And we haven’t even gone out for trick or treating yet.
It brings me to the disturbing trend in all of us; the constant desire for more. My kids see things in stores and they want them, all of them. I can’t blame them, because I see lots of things I want as well. Especially in Target.
I’ve been trying to curb my spending on things-not-essential, but I have the same problem when confronted with things for sale as my kids do; I want, want, want. And the more I want, the more I want. The snake eats its own tail. Mobius strip madness.
How do you teach a child not to be greedy? Isn’t greed evolutionarily useful? The cave people with the most mastodon meat surely lived the best and longest.
The thing is, we don’t need to hoard our Skittles™ or our little plastic stretchy men that always smell of sweet preservative that makes you slightly nauseated. But we still hoard and hog and want and crave and demand and whine and you get the picture.
I realize that I have to learn to control my own rampant consumer desires if I’m going to teach my kids to do so. Delayed gratification is just so damn hard.
And I want to beat this greed problem NOW.
Looks like I have some work to do.
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