Author Topic: Be careful about over-generalizing, judging others  (Read 1702 times)

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Offline Matthew

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Be careful about over-generalizing, judging others
« on: July 10, 2010, 04:13:32 PM »
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  • This post was taken from a "frugality" blog run by a woman who recently paid CASH for her home. She deleted this post, apparently because so many people were offended. Read it, and see if you can figure out what offended many people:

    (Note: She doesn't mention the fact that her family's single income -- her husband -- is a lawyer)


    In hearing our store of paying 100% down for a home, many have asked for specifics on how we did this. The biggest factors are the blessing of God and parents who modeled wise financial stewardship for us when we were growing up. But there are other reasons, too. And I was reflecting on these recently and jotted down a few, in no particular order:

    When others were reading novels, we were reading books on goal-setting, entrepreneurialism, internet marketing and how to grow a business from the ground up.

    When others were buying expensive, brand-name clothing, we were shopping at thrift stores.

    When others were watching pointless shows on television, we were brainstorming ways to cut expenses and produce more income.

    When others were living in the moment and not worrying about the future, we had specific written financial and business goals and objectives for each month.

    When others were swiping their credit card unthinkingly, we were using cash from our envelopes.

    When others were buying whatever they wanted at the grocery store, we were clipping coupons, shopping the sales, eating meatless meals and strictly adhering to our grocery budget.

    When others were taking out loans for shiny new cars, we were driving very used, barely-running clunkers.

    When others were paying no attention to how much money they had coming in and going out each month, we were sticking to a very meager zero-based budget.

    When others were eating out at fancy restaurants, we were eating at home with a very occasional trip to a fast food restaurant with coupons.

    When others were taking nice vacations to exotic places, we were staying home on the weekends playing board games and reading good books.

    When others were partying with friends and suffering from hangovers, we were picking the brains of any successful businessman or woman, entrepreneur or internet marketer who was willing to talk with us and share their stories and counsel.

    When others were sleeping, we were burning the midnight oil working on creating products, churning out blog posts and doing freelance projects.

    When others said, “You’re crazy! All responsible people get a mortgage and buy a house.” We said, “We’re content to keep renting and saving until we can afford to buy a house.”

    When others said, “This beans and rice thing is too hard!” We said, “Yes, it’s hard, but we have confidence it will be worth it in the long-run.”

    When others said, “That’s not possible.” We instead said, “With God, all things are possible.“

     
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    Offline Matthew

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    Be careful about over-generalizing, judging others
    « Reply #1 on: July 10, 2010, 04:17:31 PM »
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  • Superficially, we're on the same page. But she paints too much of a caricature of the average American.

    Not EVERY American is living in a McMansion with 2 SUVs, an adjustible rate Mortgage, swiping their credit card for things they don't need, and going on "exotic vacations".

    I think most people are a bit tamer than that. That's why I never lay it on too thick when I'm criticizing the American way of life. Just like the SSPX, when criticizing the Novus Ordo Mass,  tends to reference the AVERAGE Novus Ordo Mass, or even the Latin version of the Novus Ordo -- rather than bringing up a Jerry Springer parade of abuses that CAN be found in various Catholic churches (especially in liberal places like California, for example).

    You see, it's too easy to dismiss the criticism, because most Novus Ordo Catholics can say, "We don't have clown masses here..." or "My priest doesn't dress up as Barney the dinosaur..." (that actually happened at one church, by the way).

    Sure, there are some extreme examples (some of which get posted here), but most people's financial problems are a bit more complicated.

    Matthew
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    Offline Trinity

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    Be careful about over-generalizing, judging others
    « Reply #2 on: July 10, 2010, 04:22:40 PM »
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  • In short, they had money and didn't spend it.  Most of us don't have much to spend in the first place.  So no matter our economies we're not going to buy that house anytime in our life time.
    +RIP
    Please pray for the repose of her soul.

    Offline Alexandria

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    Be careful about over-generalizing, judging others
    « Reply #3 on: July 10, 2010, 05:03:43 PM »
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  • I didn't get past the first few paragraphs.

    I have absolutely no tolerance for this type.  They are so pleased with themselves.  So smug.  

    If I happen to be in the presence of someone who begins to talk like this, I walk away.  

    "Lord, thank God I am not like the rest of men......"

     :rolleyes:

    Offline Dulcamara

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    « Reply #4 on: July 10, 2010, 05:52:19 PM »
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  • I can see why people were offended, if they were the ones spending like mad out there.

    Only, these days that's not the only problem. With the economy as it is, it's getting more and more expensive to just get the bare necessities. Even if you pinch your pennies, you don't have many left to pinch after a good portion of them are taxed away, and even more are taxed away if you have the gall to make your own job because you can't get one any other way. (Which is just sickening.)

    Once upon a time, irresponsible living really WAS the most probable reason (I'm sure) for being poor. Now, just being alive in this day and age is enough for most of us, and I think it's probably going to get worse before it gets better.

    Other than that, I agree with what was said, even if I wouldn't necessarily go to the extremes some people do. In principal, it is correct, though. No reason for a rational person to be upset there. You can do all kinds of things if you're willing to go through enough suffering to achieve them. (Of course in the case of truly luxurious modern living, even if you give up most of the overkill... those vacations and what not... it's not like there aren't other enjoyable things to do.)
    I renounce any and all of my former views against what the Church through Pope Leo XIII said, "This, then, is the teaching of the Catholic Church ...no one of the several forms of government is in itself condemned, inasmuch as none of them contains anythi


    Offline Telesphorus

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    Be careful about over-generalizing, judging others
    « Reply #5 on: July 10, 2010, 05:58:04 PM »
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  • The problem is that it's s gloating about being prosperous, as though being rich were simply a matter of choice.

    Certainly one can make many choices that lead prosperity, and one can easily make choices that lead to ruin.

    But this is about self-righteous prosperity, something that is not nice.

    Offline MaterDominici

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    « Reply #6 on: July 10, 2010, 08:13:52 PM »
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  • Just to narrow it down a bit, I'll say something about the author and the offended audience. I read her blog every day.

    While I'm sure many of her readers are guilty of a thing or two that she mentioned, by and large, if they weren't trying their best to prosper in our present times, they wouldn't be reading her blog which is all about frugality. (And, they certainly wouldn't have caught this post which was up for all of about 12 hours before being taken down.) I'm sure they were primarly offended because they do many of the things she mentioned and STILL can't imagine ever paying cash for a house.

    I'd imagine a large percentage of her readers are stay-at-home moms. She herself is a stay/work-at-home mom juggling her blog with homeschooling a ~6-year-old and caring for 2 younger siblings. I think they might be Mormon.

    She's not rich. Yes, both her and her husband are intelligent people (he's a lawyer and she's runs a very successful blog). Most of what got them to where they are was determination to not spend money.

    In their earlier days, they were much more like a typical family because he was unemployed and they did odd, random jobs to scrape together enough to get him through law school and into a paying job. What they did (and did well) is to continue to live like they made nothing even once he had a good job and she was making decent money with her blog.

    Probably the most abrasive aspect to this post of hers was that she didn't just say "this is what we did", but suggested that everyone who didn't achieve this was doing the complete opposite -- not leaving much room for the majority who fall somewhere in between.
    "If I could only make the faithful sing the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei ... that would be to me the finest triumph sacred music could have, for it is in really taking part in the liturgy that the faithful will preserve their devotion. I would take the Tantum ...

    Offline John Steven

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    « Reply #7 on: July 13, 2010, 09:02:14 PM »
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  • While I was saving and watching my money and had a house  and perfect credit my job was relocated, I was forced to find work in another area at which time the market collapsed, my house sat unsold for a year while it lost one third of it's value, my wife was sued in a frivolous lawsuit requiring hiring an attorney at the rate of $100/hr , a "traditional Catholic" former business partner ruined my credit by racking up hundred of thousands of $ of debt in my name by forging and falsifying information which forced me to hire an attorney at the rate of $200/hr and brought us to the brink of bankruptcy and the selling of nearly every personal asset to keep afloat.

    True story.

    How does that fits into this lady's perfect little boxes she created?


    Offline innocenza

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    Be careful about over-generalizing, judging others
    « Reply #8 on: July 14, 2010, 09:55:53 AM »
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  • FWIW --

    I didn't find the lady's post offensive, although I do think her outlook oversimplifies the political/economic reality.

    In my family it's been steadily downward for three generations, in terms of standard of living (and although I'm childless, I'm old enough to have children and grandchildren).  I would say, clearly, for the majority of ordinary people, the American dream has been going in reverse for at least several decades.

    However, I myself am an underachiever as well as a misfit.  I have a younger relative, extremely talented and energetic, who is doing very well, from a middle class background with a college degree that took her quite a few years to complete and for which she paid without incurring any debts.

    I think my parents had somewhat of an underachieving, self- limiting mentality. (They considered themselves 'socialists'.)  And they had no concept that the times were changing.  They were always employed; my father never held more than one job.  It is true that my mother went to work when I was about 13, which my father wasn't happy about; and it was after that, that we had a little more in the way of comforts and non-necessities.  My Mom was extremely frugal, having lived through the Great Depression, her entire life.  (In fact, my brother said things to her like, "If you want to pinch pennies, do it with your own G-D money.")  She paid cash for a middle-class home on Long Island around the very late 70s.  (Not many years later it would have been out of her reach.) And because of her frugality she was able to save and leave something to her children.  But still I think my parents were fortunate and didn't realize it.  To do that they would have to have been a great deal more politically aware than they were.  My mother, for instance, would say such things as, "A good worker will always be valued by the employer."

    People may not be facing the fact that the elites who control everything don't want there to be a middle class, here or elsewhere.  That would not at all conduce to their objective of the One World Order.  The changes we've seen in society have all been purposeful.  Republican/Democrat makes no difference whatever.  Our 'system' was fatally flawed from its beginning.  If 'the Church', as I've heard so alleged, actually teaches that it's not only acceptable but desirable to choose the lesser of two evils, then I guess I'm hopelessly adrift.

    Offline Dawn

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    « Reply #9 on: July 14, 2010, 12:51:13 PM »
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  • Again Innocenza we are in agreement. (I wonder if we are not related as well your family story is my mother's family story in America). And, no, of course Holy Mother Church would neve say pick the lesser of two evils. That is spread by those who think voting on way or another means change. And, boy howdy do they have CHANGE these days or what??

    Offline Raoul76

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    « Reply #10 on: July 14, 2010, 01:03:12 PM »
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  • Innocenza said:
    Quote
    If 'the Church', as I've heard so alleged, actually teaches that it's not only acceptable but desirable to choose the lesser of two evils, then I guess I'm hopelessly adrift.


    Check out my post in Telesphorus' thread about SSPX and marriage:  General Discussion section, second page.  The Church doesn't teach you to choose the lesser of two evils, but certain ChurchMEN, including Popes, were silent about these evils, as we have discussed many a time!  For the most part, the trads still remain silent about them.
    As I was a new convert when posting here, my posts are often full of error, even unwitting heresy and rash judgment, all of which I renounce, and all my writings are best avoided -- MDLS


     

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