I consider myself a fairly optimistic person...not always, but most of the time. I look up to those who lived through the great depression. They are very strong and grateful people. They experienced things that most of us never will. We now live in an economy that could shape us in similar ways....maybe not to the same extreme. As I have watched so many different families struggle in this economy I have made a couple of conclusions.
1.) You can tell who is truly happy. Those that do not depend on material possessions seem to be more happy. It doesn't matter what they lose: their job, their house, their furniture, their car....they have something more eternal. A purpose that makes them happy.
2.) The best and worst have surfaced. The best and worst in people I mean. Some have been strengthened by their awareness that material things are not permanent. They are aware that their families and friends are the most important things they have. They serve instead of shop. They give instead of take. They help instead of hurt. Others have turned to stealing, lying and cheating in order to keep those worldly things because they think that is the reason they are happy. President Hinckley tells of true happiness-
"Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others...By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves."
3.) I am truly happy. I have a wonderful life. Sure I talk about the day when we will have a larger home, increase income. We all do. But I know that if I lost everything except my family, I would truly be okay. It may take adjusting and I am sure that there would be some mourning over the loss, but my family is the most important thing in my life. We have fun together and love to be with one another. I am so lucky to have a husband who feels the same way and often keeps me grounded in the most important things in life.