Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Class envy

I can't think of a time that I have ever envied rich people. Perhaps because I grew up middle class, and was never deprived of the necessities of life. But mostly, I think it's because my parents instilled in me a four-dimensional view of life. It's not hard for me to see the downside of being rich or popular or beautiful. I value character much more than those outside facades. All those attributes are subject to change at a moments notice. But character will always remain. And when you factor time into the equation; and when you believe that this time on earth is a drop in the bucket, it's not hard to look past the inequalities of life. So I was surprised to find myself having a bad attitude towards a complete stranger today just because he was rich. I was standing in line and overheard these two guys talking about real estate. One was opening an office in Hawaii, the other had just sold a big hunk of land for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and starting to build a second house. Their tones made it very apparent that they were quite happy with themselves, and it irked me. Why? Wouldn't anyone be happy about making tons of money? Sure. I think the problem was it hit me in a sore spot. See, I have been looking into buying a house over the past month or so. I got my loan approval, and it seemed like a decent number to me. I'm not picky. I'm not looking for much. Just a modest house in a neighborhood with kids for my sons to play with. Something with a yard. Well, as it turns out, I live smack-dab in the middle of the most expensive area of the east side of Seattle. So unless I move 20 or 30 miles away, (which means an hour or more commute) than the only thing my loan could get me is a condo, (which is no bigger than my current 2-bedroom apartment) or a mobile home with paper walls, which has been relabeled as "manufactured". And why would I invest 30 years in that? So I'm looking at waiting several more years for my credit to inch upwards so I can get another hundred thousand added to my loan. (And by that time real estate will probably shoot up beyond that number.)

So I'm frustrated here. I feel like I'm not asking for a lot. I'm not demanding a lakeside mansion here. Just a plain old little house. But then I have to stop myself for a minute and take stock of something. First of all, I live in one of the riches parts of the most prosperous nation on earth in the most prosperous epoch in human history. So my whining about wanting a modest home, when compared to the historical norm, is like complaining that my palace is too small, and I need a bigger treasure room and a wider moat. We eat like kings and have more clothes than our ancestors going back several generations combined. We have so much entertainment at our fingertips that we don't know what to do with it all. We don't have to worry about many of the diseases and maladies that wiped out so many in the past.

So once I remembered this, I corrected my attitude, and instead prayed that these men would be blessed by God and that they would be good stewards with the wealth that He blessed them with.

In the mean time, I will just wait for God to provide a miracle-home for me and my family. And I will be thankful for what I have here and now.

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