Living in this age with the world brought into our living rooms via Television, it has lately left me with a few little thoughts about life and what value we attach to or describe as a successful life. I feel like society in general is slipping away from being grounded, like everything gets bigger and bigger and we don’t know how or where to stop it, so we just ride it I suppose until it throws us off ! I saw a new article on a Florida couple that is building a 20,ooo sq ft. house. I don’t know about you, but that kind of stuff grosses me out. I find no admiration or envy in that. I do try to mind my own affairs and keeping my own life between the ditches is a full time job, but really, 20,000 sq ft house ?
When I lose my footing and perspective, I think back on my Grandparents. When I look for a model of success, I look to them. When I look for a model of contentment and belonging in the world, I look to their life. They weren’t perfect (thank God) and I know I look at them through somewhat rose colored glasses of a Grandson, but I saw their life as humble, simple, peaceful, spiritual and grounded. Grounded in a connection with the earth and with their faith. If our Creator does look down and would tip his hat to a life well lived, I cannot imagine them being one the hat not being tipped to. I’m not saying that folks that aspire to become leaders, doctors, politicians (well maybe not politicians), and such aren’t worthy of the tip of the hat, I’m just saying it isn’t a better way to live.
I surely have a heart for the forgotten ones, the unhip and disfavored. I believe every man, color, creed, and character were created equal. My Grandfather was an 8th grade educated cotton picker from south Alabama, who spent his work life in Pensacola Florida with Frisco Railroad. He and my Grandmother raised 2 children in a small house that was the only one they ever lived in. He made enough money for them to “move up”, but that house was their home. They bought what they needed and went where they needed or wanted to go. They shared their joys and their tears in a little kitchen that was about the size of some people’s closets these days. The humble approach to a life of integrity left them knowing that stuff wasn’t important.
So I’ve danced in circles and not sure I made my point very well. With Sports superstars, music and movie stars and people with 20,000 sq ft houses it can be easy to feel we don’t measure up sometimes. But what is the measure of a man anyway, whose ruler do we use? Any thoughts?