Home » You Don’t Know Jack: Part 2

You Don’t Know Jack: Part 2

Lest ya’ll think I’m a bitter, angry *$@%, I figured I’d better write a follow up to yesterday’s rant.  Let me start by saying that the rant was in no way intended to minimize whatever struggles you have gone through or are going through, no matter how small they seem in comparison to others who have it much worse.  But getting a clear picture of your problems and struggles from a broad-term perspective really truly can help with healing.  When I am stressing out to the max because money is tight, it helps me tremendously to remember just how good I’ve got it when I watch a documentary on starvation in third world countries or the homeless problem in America.  It helps me to focus on the blessings we have instead of how much debt we have left to pay off, and it helps me to have a perspective of gratefulness.

Friends, I fear America is headed for some tough times, and if I’m right, those tough times will be extraordinarily difficult for the “soft” to handle if they don’t get some real-life perspective.  My love for human beings, (which I learned to have through my relationship with Jesus Christ and intense and on-going study of the Bible), makes that thought of people not knowing how to handle a serious economic downturn or other national disaster very upsetting to me.   It pains me to great lengths to think about, and it is something I stay up many nights praying about, that those in this country will gain wisdom about how to think big-picture and long-term so that they will be more prepared for any serious national disaster that may come our way.

As a student of the Great Depression through the study of the many books and films on the subject, it was heart-breaking to watch people who’d gotten so used to the affluence America experienced after WWI all of a sudden have their rugs ripped right out from under them in terms of what they thought and expected life to be like, compared to the new world of the 25% unemployment rate, the record foreclosure rate and suffering throughout the country like they’d never seen before.

I don’t want that to happen to the people of this country that I love so much.  I want them to be prepared, and to have the wisdom to know how to deal with any disaster that may come our way.  I pray to God I’m wrong and that America will continue to recover and come to thrive again like it once did, but I just can’t see it happening with all of the global unrest and a national financial situation that is on the tipping point of disaster.

Know that I love all of you – whether or not you agree with my crazy rants 🙂 – so very, very much.  The compassion I have for the people on this earth simply overwhelms me at times, and it is my heart’s desire that your life is filled with joy, peace and much, much happiness. 🙂  It’s also my heart’s desire that if and when big-time trouble comes to America that you have the perspective you’ll need to handle it like a champ.  So, please, search your heart today and look outside of yourself for some perspective and for some wisdom.  Research what it really takes to be prepared physically, financially and emotionally for any trouble that might come our way.


  1. Nicola says:

    Another excellent post. It does worry me that if things become tough, some just won’t know how to survive. Unemployment, poor health, not being able to sustain themselves will equal a very bad time for a lot of people. Being prepared is the biggest support you can give yourself, both in the short and long rem 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks, Nicola. 🙂 I know what you mean. People should be doing SO much more to be prepared and self-sufficient, and just to handle adversity in general. Lord, help us all.

  2. Kirsten says:

    This is going to sound incredibly immature and affluent, but I think about these things when I watch The Walking Dead. It’s the end of the world and money doesn’t matter anymore – just food, water, shelter, and safety. I think about how blessed I am. How lucky I am to be in the US, where this is not a daily struggle for many of us (but some). How I’d probably attempt to pack up and head to my husbands family – farmers and hunters with survival skills.

    And then the show goes off and I might think about it a bit longer, but I mostly forget.

    You have a unique perspective, with all you have survived and with your homestead, to be able to bring frequent reminders to be grateful AND prepared.

    • Laurie says:

      I think that’s actually quite mature, Kirsten. I would imagine most people just turn off the TV and go to bed, not thinking twice about what would happen if that show were real life. Living in denial about the real possibility of these things doesn’t help one to prepare them for it.

  3. Good morning! I see it as people worry about the material stuff and not worry about the real things. I get what you are saying. I still have friends who worked with me that don’t get why I walked away from a great paying job. The change in me took years and I’m still changing. I think keeping it simple and going back to basic is where need to be. But that’s just my opinion and I will continue to cheer others success and goals even if they are a tad different from mine. =)
    Have a great weekend my friend. As the wedding approaches my time is busy, busy!!

  4. Iforonwy says:

    Another interesting and thought provoking article Laurie, thank you.
    It got me thinking about the differences about how we were brought up and today’s generation too. I was brought up in the 1950s – I was 65 last month – and things were very different in the UK than Stateside. I recently read Bill Bryson’s Thunderbolt Kid and was in awe regarding the “norm” in the USA. I remember that the first fridge we bought was in the 1970s a tiny table top model – rather like the one’s that today’s youngsters have in their rooms to hold soda and cola – we thought it wonderful and it passed to my mother who used it for another 15 or so years into the late 1990s. Incidentalyy it was the one and only fridge that she had ever owned.

    Now I don’t know a great deal about life in the USA in WW2 – I was brought up in a make-do-and-mend household where my parents were very versed in making a little go a long, long way. Were things rationed in the USA during and just after WW2? This got me thinking and I googled “When did sweets come off ration?” The answer was exactly 60 years ago today. So I was 5 before we could just go and buy sweets. I also wondered when the last payment was made by the UK Government to the USA under the Lend Lease Scheme. That was where we paid back monies for the help that we had been given to re-build after the war. Hazard a guess anyone? Well it was 10th May, 2006.

    But getting back to the Bible and being prepared. I always enjoyed the Old Testament stories more as a youngster and one in particular was the story of Joseph and his dreams. You may remember the interpretation of the 7 Full and 7 Lean years. Such a sensible way to live to be preparing during the good times for what might occur during the not so good years.

    Sorry for the long ramble, but as usual you made me think!

    • Laurie says:

      Your life in the UK as a kid was how people lived during the Depression, but it was a trauma to them and not at all the norm for most. Have you ever read “How to Cook a Wolf”? One of my fave lines in the book (it’s life from an older woman’s view during the Great Depression) is when grandma tells the young gals, who were sitting around discussing ways they could save money to “make it through” during the war, that “It interests me, especially, my dears, because after listening to it this afternoon, because I see that ever since I was married, well over fifty years ago, I have been living on a war budget without realizing it! I never knew before that using common sense in the kitchen was stylish only in emergencies.” That sums it up, doesn’t it. 🙂

      • Iforonwy says:

        It most certainly does! I have heard of the book but not read it – as yet. I think at the moment it is quite “trendy” to be frugal but it is still very needfull for many, many folk. We are living in an age of “new austerity” and there are many many changes afoot.

        I grew up with older parents with a small business and the rule was that the men working for us, all on a part-time basis as they were earning much more than we were in their day jobs, were paid first and all materials for the business were paid for,before my father took a wage. We were often near the edge but food came from the garden and Mum knew how to stretch everything. It was happy, I was an only child, and I learned many good lessons in thrift etc.

        • Laurie says:

          This reminds me of Proverbs 31, and how important it is for a wife to stretch her budget and everything she has wisely in order to make sure everyone has what they need. It’s a bit different than today’s world, many of which seem to think that their job is to take and not to give. Thanks for sharing more about your life as a youngster – sounds like you had it good. 🙂

  5. One of my favorite quotes is: “Everyone is fighting a war you know nothing about”. It gives me perspective that I’m not the only one suffering in this world. People also have problems, and there is a possibility that theirs are bigger than mine. Every time I think I can’t handle the weight on my shoulders, I remind myself of this quote and all the things I’m blessed with so I will be grateful with the life I have.

    • Laurie says:

      What an awesome quote – thanks for sharing! Those types of realities give me perspective too, and help me to remember the many blessings we have, and the many ways we have it so much easier than so many people. It helps me to be grateful.

  6. I had a nice conversation with a friend who just got back from Africa to help with this organization that does micro loans. Talk about putting things into perspective. She is going to write a post for me about that. You can’t minimize anyone’s struggles, but you can certainly learn to be grateful for the good things everyone does have in their lives.

    • Laurie says:

      Cannot wait to read that post, Tonya. For that reason, I love learning about life in Africa. We have acquaintances who just spent 2 years there doing mission work. I learned yesterday that at one point the daughter was attacked by baboons!! She’s fine, but can you imagine having to worry about that??

  7. I have recently been feeling a growing dread with all that is going on in the world today. Russia and Ukraine; Israel and Palestine; ISIS in the Middle East; Ebola in Western Africa . . . It all seems to be spinning out of control. When I get thinking in that way, I try to correct myself with thoughts like, “There have been other disasters. These ones will pass too.” Like you, I hope and pray that there will be recovery in all areas, and that if we are on the brink of something, it’s something good.

    • Laurie says:

      I agree, Prudence. It does seem to be spinning out of control. But I figure if we can make it through two world wars, we can make it through this too? I hope so. Preparedness certainly helps.

  8. Kipp says:

    Hey Laurie,

    I just read part one and part 2 of your rant, and you have some very good points. You can never know for certain what direction we will be going in, I would have hoped that the last recession would have been a wake-up call. And for a moment it seemed as if people were starting to turn around and be more mindful, but I think household debt levels are starting to rise again. It is a bit of a shame that this opportunity to redeem ourselves was forsaken.

    • Laurie says:

      I agree, Kipp!!! It’s like we’re blinded again as we were in 2007 before the recession, or living in the Roaring Twenties having no idea of what’s coming and really not caring. Grayson just wrote a post on Frugal Rules about how consumer debt is on the rise again. Time for people to wake up!! I truly hope they do before it’s too late. 🙂

  9. kat ~ frugalvoices.com says:

    Amen! My minister once said to “cultivate an attitude of gratitude”. I’m thinking of framing that sentiment and hanging it in a prominent spot where I can ponder it every single day. We take so much for granted. It’s like, I just want to forget any of the bad times I’ve had in the past. But I could be much more grateful and appreciative of all the good times ~ past, present and future ~ that’s for sure. Your post will help so many more people than you’ll ever know, Laurie. God Bless you always. 🙂

  10. Loved this additional response! I consider myself fortunate as my mom was born in the late 1930’s and her life experiences and seeing human evolution through her eyes is a wonder for me. Whenever she tells me how life was like living in Trinidad on the family land and working on it, travelling to school by ox cart or just plain old walking and living in a time of racial segregation always has me mind boggled. Then she makes me laugh because she still asks me to reprogram her microwave and other electronic gadgets if she loses power. Seeing decades of life through her eyes is a real gift for me.

    I truly hope and pray, like you, that the wealthier nations and its citizens realize that the path that they are headed on does not seem to have a very good end but that they have the power to change the outcome.

    • Laurie says:

      Wow – you are so blessed to have a mom who shares her wisdom with you, Kassandra. I am always so amazed by people like your mom who have overcome amazing circumstances to thrive and teach others. I hope these nations change too – Lord, help us to see the light!

  11. Jay says:

    You are so right. We do grow some of our own food for that very reason. I want to raise a family that can survive on litte materially, because thats what may happen.

    One thing is for sure, you almost never see these things coming.

    As a country, we see that we aren’t picking the right path, but the solutions always see to be down the road sometime, while the spending is always needed today. Its very sad indeed.

  12. I feel your compassion for others. I think knowing that there are less privilege people than we are is something to be grateful for and that can inspire us to work with God to bring healing and charity. By even doing simple things for them is much appreciated especially by God.

  13. Kathy says:

    I’m terribly afraid that if the country has a true economic catastrophe the government will certainly step in and force those who have made preparations for themselves to share the largess with those who -whether due to choice or inability- did not do anything to prepare themselves. Whether it be your money or your garden harvest, you will be expected to share. We hear so much already about “sharing the wealth” and leveling the playing field that I have no doubt that what we have will be taken away from us and given to someone else. I think once I may have related a story I read about the reaction to some people during Hurricane Sandy who had the foresight to purchase a generator. Many people complained “Why should that person have a generator when I don’t?” Duh…because they bought it. And years after Hurricane Katrina, some people are still sitting on their butts waiting for the government to help them. During the depression, people would work at any job for a meal. They would travel to where jobs were in order to be employed. I hear now about huge numbers of jobs at the Dakota oil fields and in the surrounding community service industry but people won’t move there because it is “in the boondocks” and they would be too far away from their family. Boo fricken Hoo. People today have it too easy on unemployment and welfare. Otherwise we wouldn’t have generations of families all living on those benefits.

    I’m sorry Laurie for taking over your justified rant. We are definitely on the same page. I think our only difference is you are a little too kind, and have more faith in mankind than I do.

    • Laurie says:

      Kath, as usual, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve read dozens of stories about people during the Depression who would do absolutely any menial job in order to make money and feed their families. The people of today often think they are “above” certain jobs or as you said, feel those jobs are too inconvenient for them. It’s not like the olden days, is it, where people care about their reputation and take pride in supporting themselves. 🙁

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