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I had to buy a Mercedes instead of a Ferarri!

I usually read CNN.com every morning. Just now I pulled it up to see the featured front page story:

Party like it's 1929

Jasmine Rocha got a budget lesson when planning her quinceaƱera, the 15th birthday celebration that represents a rite of passage to womanhood for Latinas. "It was very hard because sometimes the stuff that I wanted, it wasn't able to come through," said the teen from Dallas, Texas. The battered economy is taking a toll on everything from birthday soirees to bar mitzvahs. full story

Is this really the story of the hurting economy? We're just not able to party like we used to? A friend of mine works in a state-funded office and had to watch many of her co-workers leave in tears the other day as their sole source of income was yanked from them. Lives are being totally financially devastated by what is happening - many families are searching for a way to not go under - and the story is about weddings and celebrations having to be downsized? So far my job is secure - I even got a raise for this year - and I'm put off by an angle like this. I can't imagine having just come home, pink slip in hand, and pulling up a story bemoaning the fact that some 15 year old girls aren't able to have the dress they want.

I do believe that this illustrates how rich we ultimately continue to be, even in the midst of an economic downturn and many people losing their jobs. Truthfully, even many who are now jobless continue to be much better off in their lifestyles than a majority of the rest of the world who do have employment. I hope that we can keep a perspective on this. When we start to get depressed over the dents in our wealth, we simply need to remember that people the world over would give anything to live like us. We have peace. We have predictability. We have shelter and food, even when things are tougher than they used to be. We have protection. This may sound arrogant, but I have found that most of our impoverished and homeless in America have more provision than the average person in large parts of the third world. Keeping this at the top of our mind is what can make things like smaller weddings seem very trvial as a problem to be faced.

We have been given much. We have built a wealthy society... a wealth that truly permeates, even if you are on the low end of the ladder in America. Let's not forget this, and focus on the real problems.


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