Property Laws as Viewed By a Toddler
1> If I like it, it’s mine
2> If it’s in my hand, it’s mine
3> If I can take it from you, it’s mine
4> If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine
5> if it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way
6> If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine
7> If it looks like it’s mine, it’s mine
8> If I saw it first, it’s mine
9> If I can see it, it’s mine
10> If I think it’s mine, it’s mine
11> If I want it, it’s mine
12> If I need it, it’s mine (yes I know the difference between “want” and “need”)
13> If I say it’s mine, it’s mine
14> If you don’t stop me from playing with it, it’s mine
15> If you tell me can play with it, it’s mine
16> If it will upset me too much when you take it away from me, it’s mine
17> If I (think I) can play with it better than you can, it’s mine
18> If I play with it long enough, it’s mine
19> If you are playing with something and you put it down, it’s mine
20> If it’s broken, it’s yours (no wait, all the pieces are mine).
Thanks to Michael V. Hernandez (the author of these wonderful observations).
Makes me think that this is as applicable to adults as it is to toddlers. Today people, at least in the neighborhod where I live, seem to have this terrific need to accumulate more and more. Everywhere I walk (I walk a lot with my dog) there are new boats, another vehicle, new motocycles, a bigger and better motor home, a new pool, a deck that is as big as some homes I know overseas, the best and newest BBQs with all the extra features (cooks better than my indoor kitchen stove), a better computer, a more powerful camera, a new iPod, a three car garage replacing a perfectly good two car garage … just so many things I have noticed or spoken to people about over the past three days. The options of what to spend money on and accumulate seem endless. So is the debt level.
It seems that we have come to believe that satisfaction or fulfillment is found in what we own or are about to own. Yet, what we have accumulated in life never gives true satisfaction to anyone. A truth we seem never to grasp. Material belongings cannot fulfill the need for purpose and direction. Only God can! Anyone who has a mature approach to life is not impressed with what you are able to accumulate and yet we seem to want to impress people that we are doing well enough to get that bigger boat, larger house, newest vehicle.
I am impressed – not by all the things people buy, or by their ability to buy it (usually on borrowed money), or how “successful” this makes them appear. I am simply impressed by how stupid people can be to be continually accumulating more and more debt in their search to satisfy whatever it is that drives them. And, if they are not accumulating more debt – their constant purchases and lifestyle keeps them in debt period.
It reaches a tremendous height of stupidy when they put their children in daycare so they can both work. To do what with the extra income, you ask? Well, purchase a $45,000.00 boat – that will see water maybe four or five times a year unless they now come with skates or skis for the long winters we have here … I would personally be more impressed if one adult quit their job and simply stayed home and took care of their children raising them in the “old-fashion” way. Maybe I am just old or even old-fashioned. But then again, that’s what we did when we were in our child raising years.
Contentment is a neat thing. It prevents all of this. I am content with what I have and don’t need bigger and better of anything. Oh, I have been there and done that other routine. I was supernaturally in debt at one time. But, I found out many years ago buying things or “moving up in the world” doesn’t fulfill or satisfy any of the “drive” or “hunger” inside. I found that if I would just be content (a learned mindset leading to a change in behavior) with what I had and not always be wanting this or that, bigger or better… then I stopped accumulating things and debt. But I did accumulate new levels of peace of mind, the ability to decide to work less (or to work for nothing on some occasions) because I don’t have this pressing need for money – a need driven by debt which is the result of accumulating things, which is caused by a lack of inner peace and sense of identity that can only come from a deep, dynamic and daily personal relationship with the Living God as found only in Jesus Christ.
Maybe it is time for some adults to grow up.