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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Bad Economy Could Help Save the American Family and the Planet

Something good always comes out of a bad situation. Take the economy for instance. Many Americans are unemployed or underemployed, thousands of homes have been lost to foreclosure, and many folks are forced to scale down their extravagant lifestyles. Is this really a crisis, or a sign from the universe that we all need to make some changes?

The current situation in America has compelled us to better appreciate the things that we as a society have normally taken for granted. The planet and our families are in pretty bad shape because of our self-indulgence. Think about it. For decades we have been a throw-away society. We waste food, clothing, energy, money, water, cars, and a whole lot of other goods. American families have simply tossed out useful items that we simply no longer wanted. Restaurants throw away thousands of pounds of food daily, while homeless people starve in the streets. We purchase more clothing that we can store in our closets, wear the same 5 outfits each week, and toss out clothing that was never worn.We own 30 pair of shoes for 1 pair of feet. How and why did we become such a wasteful society focused on collecting ‘stuff’.?


For the sake of the planet, and our own financial situations, we should have been reducing, re-using, and recycling long before the economy collapsed. The good news is that most American families are now reducing and re-using, thanks to the loss of jobs and the bad economy. Many two-income families are now single-income families. We are now rethinking the way we live our lives. We are becoming less wasteful and more creative. We are learning to put our families on a budget, and save a few dollars for the next rainy day.


Hopefully, we will see some improvements in the stability of the American family. Maybe the divorce rate will decrease.With so many people out of work, adults will now have more time to focus on the family unit and the children. Little Suzie is jumping for joy since mom lost her job. “Yeah! Now I don’t have to spend 12 hours at daycare with a bunch of strangers and a room full of other babies screaming for attention.” Perhaps parents will actually learn to prepare home-cooked meals and families will start eating dinner together. Teenagers will no longer receive outrageous allowances to blow in the mall, and will spend time at home playing Monopoly with their parents and siblings, studying, or reading a good book. Now that dad’s work hours have been cut, maybe, just maybe he will attend a parent-teacher conference or a little league baseball game.


American parents have spent far too many hours at work, and not enough time with the family. And this has caused more social problems than the bad economy. How can society succeed if families are falling apart? Strong, unified families lead to a strong unified country. When the economy recovers and you return to work, do not forget that a job should never come before your family. Your family needs you – your time and attention. For the company, you are just a number, a means to an end. To your family, you are their everything.


The good thing about a bad economy is that it may bring the American family closer and remind us of the things in life that truly matter.


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