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Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Assumptions

 Hello dear friends!  I had planned to write something more fun, and I probably will, but today I was watching something on YouTube and it made me upset, so I thought I'd write about it .  

I have always made assumptions about the readers of this blog.  I assumed that you all were fairly intelligent and knew how to read, otherwise why would you be reading my long-winded blog?  Certainly not for the beautiful photography.  I see other blogs and YouTube channels where they teach people how to hang laundry and make oatmeal, and I think they are silly.  And quite frankly, insulting.  Anyone with basic reading skills, ought to be able to read the carton of oatmeal and figure out how to make oatmeal from scratch, and well even a four-year old child  can figure out how to throw clothes over a clothesline.  Maybe it wouldn't be the nicest, neatest job, but they could do it.  

So anyway, today I was watching this person say that my attitude  that people know how to do things, such as read instructions, is an "elitist" ( how I loath that term) attitude.  Elitist? Really?  I was born into an average blue-collar family and have been so poor at times in my life that I have gone to bed without any food.  I was never taught how to cook or economize while growing up.  In fact, my mother never did any of those things to teach me.  Just because you were "taught" one way as a child, doesn't mean you cannot change your thinking as an adult.  Until her dying  day, my mother ridiculed me for my old-fashioned  thrifty ways.  BTW, when my father died, my parents were in debt, so I paid off my father's debt, even though I had two children in college and could ill afford it, so that my mother wouldn't have to worry about paying the loan off.  I do not write this to talk ill of my parents, but just to illustrate the attitude about thriftiness I grew up with. Anything that I have learned in life, as far as home economics, I learned from reading. I didn't have some "elite" schooling that trained me in home economics. Back when I was starting out, there was no internet, I couldn't just look it up on my phone, I had to go to the library, use an old card catalog to locate the book, and read it.  If I bought a new appliance, I read the instructions manual before using it.  I am, by no stretch of the imagination, the brightest bulb in the pack, so I always assumed that if I could learn these things, so could you.

I think what it all comes down to, is the willingness to learn.  No one can tell me that any person with an average intelligence  cannot figure out that it is less expensive to buy a loaf of cheap store bread, some cheese and a can of tomato soup and make grilled cheese sandwiches and soup, than paying forty dollars for one fast food meal for their family of four.  Even a child can figure out that if they only have a penny, they cannot afford a box of Legos.  I know, I have experienced really hard times, when I wasn't sure where the next meal was going to come from, so I do know that sometimes things are just out of our control, no matter how hard we try to prepare, but I think, I assume, that a lot of people are just looking for an excuse  not to try. And yes, I assume it is because they are just plain lazy. After all, taking time to learn, takes away from time watching Tik-Tok videos or texting, or whatever people do these days to entertain themselves.

And you know what?  The more you learn, the more you want to learn.  Every skill you master, makes you want to master another.  Every lower bill I receive, makes me want to see what else I can do to make next month's even lower.  So anyway, if I stepped on anyone's toes, because of my "elitist" assumptions that you all are intelligent and willing to learn and are capable of figuring things out for yourself, well then perhaps you shouldn't be reading this blog.  The people I always admire are those that are willing to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and I hope that you, dear readers, are of the same ilk. So good or bad, let me know your thoughts.

Until next time!

Hugs

Jane



17 comments:

  1. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I think one of the problems with many people is that the public school system discourages learning rather than encouraging it. Bright inquisitive children are taught what to think, not how to think. They are taught to stifle questions and curiosity. They are taught that to work with your hands is dirty and that college is the path to big paychecks so they can pay others to do the "dirty work". Then when they grow up and find that they need to know something they do one of several things: pay someone else to do it; look it up on YouTube to see how it's done; or just let it go and buy a new one or muddle through as best they can.
    We homeschooled our children and I taught them all how to do all the household chores, my husband taught them how to take care of a car and handyman tasks around the house. I also taught them that if they were interested in something that the library would have books or magazines about it and they could learn anything. Now that they are all adults they are capable, interesting, knowledgeable people. And they are our best friends!
    I actually have a lot of compassion for those whose parents didn't teach them the life skills they would need, and those who were so stifled by the public school system that they aren't self-sufficient life-long learners.

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    1. I think the public school system is definitely an enabler. However, I also believe that anyone that is willing to learn can learn. As I wrote, I wasn't taught these skills or attitudes, either. You have given your children a great headstart on life. That is wonderful! Those that weren't so fortunate to have such a fine example, might have a harder journey, but they can still do it. Just takes a willingness to learn.

      Hugs
      Jane

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  2. Hi Jane! I just had grilled cheese yesterday. I'm using my poor andrea upbringing to go back to the basics. ( I totally think eating out is a huge waste of money. ) Reading your blog not only teaches me something, but I'm "reading"!! Something that isn't done too much these days. I used to love reading for 3-4 hours at a time when I grew up in a really boring town/time.
    You certainly obeyed the commandment of "honor thy father and thy mother" and You will earn points in heaven for that! hugs,andrea

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    1. More and more, Andrea, I refer back to my cookbook I kept when I was first married, and had no money. It's so old that many of the recipes have faded almost completely away. I hadn't gone shopping for quite a while, so the other day Ran and I went just to look at prices of things. I was shocked at how much prices have risen in the past few months. Yikes!

      I used to read for hours too, but over the years I got it into my head that reading for enjoyment was wasting my time and that I should be doing something constructive with it. About the only reading I do these days is for information or my daily Bible reading. Besides, it is really hard to find anything wholesome and entertaining these days to read. I guess I could go back to the classics. Used to love Thomas Hardy and the Brontes.

      As for honoring my parents, I think I lost those points by writing about that incident, but I wanted to illustrate that I was not brought up to be frugal, so I don't except upbringing as an excuse for not learning now. To be honest, I'm tired of hearing people use "it's how I was brought up" as an excuse for not getting off their backsides and doing something about their lives.

      Hugs
      Jane

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    2. HI! Well the Bible is sufficient for sure! It would help to clear my mind to just go back to days before all this technology. My husband always jokes to me that I lost "points" in heaven that I earned, for complaining after I did a good deed. lol hugs, andrea

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    3. 'Hi Andrea! I've been trying to read the Bible through so that even if I don't retain everything that I read, it will be there for the Holy Spirit to use. So many details I have forgotten. I surely admire great Biblical scholars. Sometimes it is hard to be a cheerful giver, that's for sure!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  4. How lovely to be able to read new posts from you Jane, thank you for the time you take to post here. This post reminded me suddenly of an incident that happened over thirty years years ago when I was still teaching. I’d gone down to our allotment (I’m in the UK) very early one morning and picked a huge bag of French beans to share with my colleagues in work. We’d had a real glut that year, far more than I could process or freeze, and I thought people would appreciate them. When I went into the staff room before going home the bag was still almost full, and a member of staff said “Well they looked nice but let’s face it Lesley most of us just buy frozen ones, and anyway the supermarkets sell the fresh ones washed and with the ends cut off. “
    Honestly Jane I think that’s the first time in my life I was ever truly speechless. I agree 100% with you about laziness. People just will not make the slightest effort if they can find an easy way to do anything..The year after this happened I was able, thanks to both of us being thrifty, and working hard at it I was able to retire 15 years early. The same member of staff said jealously “ you’re so lucky”. I just wish she’d realised that actions have consequences, but maybe it was too late for her.
    My very best wishes to you and yours
    Lesley in England

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    1. Hello Lesley! So good to hear from you again! That scenario has happened to me many times over the years. Every year we have much more fruit than we can eat and I have told the neighbor to just pick what they want. No one ever does. Too much work! So now I leave them on the bushes for the birds who appreciate it. They show their thankfulness with beautiful birdsong.

      I get that "lucky" comment a lot too. Yes, I was so "lucky"that we have worked our entire lives for everything we have, gone without to save for a goal, did without to pay our bills, etc., while those people were spending their money on vacations, dining out, and living way beyond their means. And now I am an "elitist" and lack understanding because I have a little modest home and a decades old car.

      Hopefully, your co-worker did realize the error of her ways, but she would have to first take a look at herself honestly in the mirror. Unfortunately, society is teaching people it is fashionable to be a victim, rather than taking responsibility for their own actions.

      Hope the weather is lovely in your beautiful country!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  5. Good morning
    I have often wondered why all those people in the drive throughs don’t just go home and make a grilled cheese. I’ve had fast food and it’s just not that good.

    But I also think there are 2 types of people- those that do stuff and then those who pay people to do stuff.

    We have always been do it ourselves people- except for dental work 🤔
    As my husband’s body is wearing out, we have paid people to do some things but I think we will always be do it ourselves people for anything we can.

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    1. Hi Rhonda! I'll never understand why people think fast food saves them time or money. In the same amount of time as it takes a person to drive to fast food and wait in line for their order, they could make a simple meal at home. Even if it's just heating up a can of soup or boiling up some hot dogs.
      Getting older has certainly put a limit on things we can do also. But we still endeavor to do as much as we can, even if it takes us longer to do it. Definitely not weekend warriors any longer!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  6. So learning how to do things for yourself is elitest? I guess I shouldn't be surprised to learn that.

    I'm with you, Jane. People are lazy, soft, self-indulgent, whiny, and unrealistic.

    They think they should have everything they see others brag about on social media--and that someone else should hand it to them for free!

    They should never have to be uncomfortable (ie, work hard) because that's not fair!

    All those darn greedy Boomers just skated through life and ruined the world and now they're living in their big expensive houses, sitting on top of billions of investment dollars they won't share! It's all THEIR fault!

    Ugh. I can't even articulate what I'm trying to say. All I know is that, "Be in this world, not of this world" has never made more sense to me than it does now.

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    1. Ha! I think you did a very good job of articulating your thoughts Sue. Wherever all us Boomers are hiding those billions, I sure wish they'd let me in on the where it's hidden. Ah well, I guess it is easier to blame someone for your failures than to take responsibility for them. I'm so glad I'm pretty isolated from society. You can shoot a cannonball down our main street and not hit anyone or anything this time of year. How goes things in your neck of the woods?

      Hugs
      Jane

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  7. Our oldest son and his wife were married about five years when he called me and asked how to make baked potatoes. Hubby and I still chuckle about that. They both have college degrees. Our son in law worked in the inner city as an outreach pastor and he was astounded at how little so many know about just living every day life. It seems to partly stem to be from lack of basic equipment. Many don't have a stove or even own pots and pans and cannot afford to buy them. Hence seeing many in the grocery store buying piles of microwavable meals with food stamps. It is something they can manage. If you grew up in a community where no there was nowhere to hang out laundry the knowledge is just not there. I grew up knowing those things and cannot imagine never being exposed. I do appreciate the ones who take the time to film and post those basic skills because they are needed by many. Just my two cents.

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    1. Perhaps they should have bought pots and pans from a thrift store instead of a microwave. And instead of microwave meals they could have purchased the making of some cheap soup and tuna sandwiches. If they can figure out how to microwave a meal, they can figure out how to boil a hotdog. Even government housing for people on fixed incomes comes with a stove. And I still think anyone can figure out how to hang wet laundry over a line or even the back of a chair to dry, whether they have seen anyone do it or not. So sorry, I'm not buying the "too poor" excuse. And yes there are those out there that post those basic skills, but how if these people are not bright enough to figure out how to hang clothes over something to dry, will they ever be smart enough to navigate YouTube or the internet to learn?

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    2. We have to agree to disagree here because life is much harder than you know for so many. Slumlords have no responsibility to provide appliances. There is also a level of exhaustion from trying to keep a roof over their heads working multiple jobs that they just cannot get things that we assume to be easy tasks done. We have a vacation house in a poor county where it is common to see children being passed from Mom to Dad or Grandparents in parking lots because they are all juggling the jobs. It is often a fast food where they are grabbing something to eat before splitting up and heading to the next job. Many are living so close to the edge that if they lose even 2 hours of work they could end up out on the street and homeless. Many are surviving as best they can and judgement just does not help them.

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    3. Hate to inform you, Lana, but I have been there. And those people could be eating a PBJ in the parking lot instead of having to eat a fast food meal.. How much are those meals these days? Around $10 each meal? No wonder they have to work so many jobs. They figured out how to juggle schedules for babysitting from one family member to the other to get to their jobs. Therefore, I assume they are bright enough to figure out eating fast food every day is costing them a lot of money. And yes, working several jobs is exhausting, I know I have been there. And we went to school full-time at the same time to better ourselves. (BTW, we paid for our own schooling.) And having been one of those dirt poor people you feel sorry for as you pass them by on your way to your vacation home,, I would not have appreciated someone assuming I was not bright enough to figure out how to heat a can of soup or hang up laundry just because I was poor. How loving and compassionate is it to assume just because someone is poor that they do not have common sense? I rather like to think that even the person born into the lowliest position in life, given enough gumption and desire, can better themselves. My husband's family was so poor that the first house he lived in was a chicken coop. By the time he was in fourth he got his first paying job sweeping the school cafeteria floor for a nickel a day. He figured out all sorts of ways to make money, from picking bags of apples at an old abandoned farm and selling them for deer feed to collecting pop bottles, to working at a funeral home. He saved enough money to pay for his first year of college, then he got a nice job working at a chemical company. I worked all sorts of odd jobs too. And one awful job as a waitress at a bowling alley where the boss sexually harassed me every day. This was in the 70s before sexual harassment suits came about. I could not quit. We needed the money. So to say that I lack understanding and compassion is an assumption on your part. I think it is more compassionate to tell people to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and tell them that they can do it than just to sit around and say," poor baby"

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