Thursday, March 06, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

I have found as an adult that people make a LOT of excuses. You think that stops with children and teens, but nuh-uh...excuses come out in a different way with adults.

"We [a family of six] are going to Israel...BUT it's for a family simcha...AND it's all on points."

"We're going to Florida over the school break, BUT it's ONLY for a week."

"...I'm going to Mexico JUST for a week." (I often tell people when they've given me their vacation travels and have thrown JUST FOR into the same sentence that they should never say JUST...simply because some people NEVER travel.)

I once had a conversation with someone who'd moved from a reasonable-sized, modest home into a large, well-to-do home on a posh street. When I mentioned she had a nice house, she said, "I'm glad the house looks small from the outside and not so ostentatious, so people won't talk."

Honey, you think people don't talk?! Of course they talk when you move from the equivalent of a 3-star roadside motel into a penthouse suite at Trump Tower. Your excuses don't change anything.

I know people who are bankrupt and owe tons of people tons of money yet they take mini vacations with their family. "We're under a lot of stress. We NEED a vacation."

People are continually apologizing for what they have or belittling what they have. It surprises me simply because I think that they're trying to protect themselves and what they have in some way. That's how it appears.

Money seems to set the tone for many conversations in this community in which I live; even if not overtly, dollars and cents seem to hover silently overhead.

I wish that people would simply enjoy what they have, make no excuses about it and at the same time not brag.

After all, cents don't often give a person SENSE.


cruisin-mom said...

Money makes people say and do funny things I guess.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Money is a gift from God. By belittling what we have, we are belittling what God gives us. If a person is blessed with money, there is no reason to hide that blessing. There is nothing wrong with saying "Thank God, we are able to go away for a week....". That is a form of "Hakarat HaTov" (recognizing God's goodness)

Of course, I wouldn't mind such blessings, but I have others.

The problems begin when people forget that all that they have is because God gave it to them and it could disappear tomorrow.

One more thought: When a family receives a loan or tzedakkah, then that money becomes theirs, to do with as their judgement sees fit. It is not for the giver to judge how they spend their money. I believe that that is the true meaning behind the idea that we give a person tzedakkah so that they can live the lifestyle to which they have been accustomed. If a recipient of tzedakkah has to then justify all their expenses, then they have not only lost their money, then they have lost their dignity.