Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Living in an old house makes me think about all the struggles the early Americans went through. I visited Plimouth Plantation, in Massachusetts, many times. The tiny little houses the Pilgrims lived in were cold, plain and uncomfortable. The people worked tremendously hard just to survive. This is hardship.
In our 1800's house, there are drafts, broken faucets, and plumbing problems. We are always repairing something or trying to make things last. We are also constantly seeking ways to economize. During a recent warm spell, we didn't use our wood pellet stove. Some mornings I was cold, but I just had to wait a few hours for the temperature to rise, and the house would have been heated by the warmth of the sun. It is in our nature to seek ease, comfort and self-indulgence. We have an anti-hardship nature. This is why we waste money, and act spoiled. It came from generations of Americans who forgot what it was like for the Pilgrims and the Pioneers. We are living on the ease and "wealth" created by our ancestors. Instead of continuing their traditions, we are sitting back and living like the rich.
In the old days, struggle built character. And a little suffering made us grateful.
Now things seem to be handed to us. We lost our ability to endure the rough times. We lost our creativity and ingenuity.
This morning I was thinking about how easy things are for me. I have plenty of free time, and set my own plans for each day. I have good things to eat. I have a lovely home (as long as I work hard to keep it neat). Even though I have so many things to be thankful for, I still grumble and complain when I have to suffer. We modern day Americans come from tough Pioneer stock. But we have weakened and softened over the years. One of the greatest accomplishments would be for us to endure the hard times and learn to sacrifice for the good of our characters.
No one wants to suffer, of course. But if we can just strengthen ourselves enough to patiently get through the hard times, we will do well. It's kind of like picking our battles and not making too much out of the daily trials.
This would make the good times that much sweeter.
* P.S. If you have some time, visit the Plimouth Plantation website. It is amazing! *
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