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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outlook (06/02/11)

TITLE: I'll Bet You Never Thought of it That Way
By Verna Mull


Did you ever wonder why people seem to have such different values and such different outlooks on life? I have pondered that question many times.

I for one always was what I considered very frugal, while others say that I am tight or cheap. Right there, you can see two logical viewpoints; but the question is, “Why?”

I believe that my attitude comes greatly from being raised during the dirty thirties. During the years of draught and depression, most people had a totally different set of values than are more prominent today. Survival was the key to success, not keeping up with those around us.

We were so thankful for what we had, and depended upon God for the things we needed, and that faith was never rejected by God.

When we talk about recycling today, it is almost amusing to me, even though I am all for it. We are recycling things today that were non- existent when I grew up. We recycled from necessity, not because of landfills, and throwing something away that was not totally unusable was unheard of. For instance, no one had diapers to just throw away. We rinsed, soaked, and washed diapers with a bar of homemade lye soap and a washboard, and ladies prided themselves in hanging the whitest diapers on the line to dry. Feed sack dish towels were even patched until they were nearly double thickness in many spots.

In the 30’s, there was no need for Toys R Us, or Babies R Us, or Teen Shops, as the toys that were available were so few, and the finances so scarce, these stores could not have survived, nor could teens have afforded special name brand clothes, and we didn’t even care. After all, it was fun to be allowed to go shopping for the chicken feed and being allowed to pick out the sacks that we thought the print was pretty, so that mother could make us a new dress for school.

But now, I would like to take a peek at the outlook of a more modern generation, and yes, I believe that I understand a lot of the thought patterns, because as things have improved, I find myself loosening up a bit on my “waste not-want not” attitudes.

As I became an adult and had children of our own, there was a great desire to provide much more for them than we had been provided, yet, we were struggling ourselves, and it seemed it was impossible to supply only a portion, and yet, it was much more than we had even known about to want.

When our children became adults, the markets supplied so many things, such as throw away diapers, throw away paper plates, glasses, plastic ware, and paper towels, to name a few. Now that would be a huge temptation to someone who had felt deprived themselves, and the attitude became, why should I work so hard when it is not necessary? Then these things became a necessity, and we have entered a generation of “I deserve this.”

Some people my age declare that this generation will never survive if really hard times should come again. My outlook is different than that, because I feel that in spite of all they have had, they are made of good stock, and will change their outlook, and get a real high from switching to survival, and being able to survive on less. After all, our outlooks are shaped by the times, and our positions in life, and most of all, our trust in a God who will never fail us.

Whichever generation you belong to, and whatever your outlook may be, I would like to say, “May God bless each one of you.”

Ecclesiastes 1:9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun. NIV

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This article has been read 444 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kathleen Langridge06/09/11
An outlook of hope for the young of today who are indeed entering a new time economic downturn. Thank you for sharing.
Jenna Dawn06/10/11
I loved your article. I have a certain fascination with the era of the Great Depression and value the "outlook" of those who lived it. Thank you for sharing yours and, I agree, I think people of this era would rise to the occasion if a recession as bad as the Great Depression hit again. It does make one think twice about the excess we live in today and how the norms of expectation keep changing. My daughter is trying to plan a big 16th birthday three day event, while I simply went to an amusement park with my best friend on mine.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/12/11
You did A great job on this piece. I feel transported back to the times of the TV show The Waltons. All they needed to survive was love and faith in God. When my husband lost his job after 20 years God provided with perfect timing. Thank you for the great reminder.
Leola Ogle 06/13/11
I was born in the late 40's but well remember the resourcefulness of my parents to make ends meet, to live frugally and make use of everything. I learned so much from them. Your story transported me back in time. Thanks so much for sharing. God bless!