My niece, Boo, is one smart cookie. Now, I’ve known this since she was a year old and managed to whip my butt in checkers. Of course, she did it by drooling all over my half of the board and then gumming most of the checkers into plastic paste, but still. . .
Anyway, she really is a smart cookie. But to talk about that, I first have to tell you this: My mom, Boo’s grandmother, has multiple sclerosis, MS. This is a degenerative nerve disease which results in a gradual (sometimes) weakening of the extremities and loss of feeling. All of which means it’s very hard for my mom to walk or do much that’s active.
The other day, she was complaining that she wished she didn’t have MS so she could be skiing, water skiing, hiking and all that stuff. Boo looked at her and asked, “If you didn’t have MS, would you really be doing any of those things?”
Good question, especially considering she’ll be 69 this year.
Mom just laughed and said no, she probably wouldn’t.
That’s cutting through to the core of the matter, yeah? Sure, Mom would have rather have not had MS and still not have done any of those things, but I thought Boo raised a really good point.
We often want things, even though we’d never actually use them. How many times, especially during the gift-giving season just past, did we ask for something we really wanted? Yeah, a lot. Now, think back. How many times have you used it in the last month or so. Yeah, not a lot.
I’m not suggesting we try to cut down on consumption or anything. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be responsible for the economy tanking. Again. I’m actually thinking more about setting a good example for the little dudes. Before we mouth off about how much we want something, think for a second about whether or not this is something you’d actually use, something that we could even find a month or two down the road.
My worry, you see, is if we don’t start setting the example, we’re going to be raising a hoard of greedy, selfish little dudes. About which I’ll talk more tomorrow.