I’ve written about this more times than I wish I felt the need to, and yet it seems the message still falls of deaf ears. Most of our Seniors remember the First Depression – before Welfare, before Foodstamps, before Medicaid, before unemployment compensation. How on earth did those people survive without government handouts? Did they grumble about the government OWING them “a house, food and a vehicle so they could pursue happiness?” or were they somehow even grateful for what little they might have as long as they were still FREE to live their LIFE as they chose?

Money (and/or power) is NOT the only measure of SUCCESS. No, seriously! While money can buy comfort, it cannot buy health (as cliche as that seems, just ask the millions of Americans with some form of cancer how important health is.) Money cannot buy you happiness. It can buy you pleasure, but pleasure doesn’t guarantee happiness.

We get so envious of those sometimes in the news – celebrities and athletes who, though talented, are simply not worth the money they receive for their efforts while the daycare workers – teaching our children in their most formative years – get minimum wage or only slightly above. We get so envious of what the WEALTHY have that we seem to “LACK,” that it messes up our equilibrium, and we lose our focus. Before we know it, all we can see is what we seem to lack. Can you walk in a straight line forward while continuously focused to your left or right?

I suppose I’m unique in that money has never meant much to me. Perhaps that’s why I don’t have much! Ha! I have enough to pay my bills, have lunch out with a friend now and then, go to a movie once in a while, or stop for ice cream after an exceptionally good workout! But what makes me an extraordinarily wealthy woman is not the items I own or the clothes I wear, but the people that surround me.

My fear for our nation is that people have lost sight of this truth, the blessings of FREEDOM. We, as a people, are so self-consumed with getting more, buying a bigger house, a newer car, the latest cell phone or techno gadget that we have lost sight of our life, liberty, and … our neighbors, our friends, and our family. And what about a hobby? What is the element of FUN in our daily lives? Laughter … games … bowling night … choir practice … bridge club … THIS is pursuing happiness! Not a bigger paycheck, but the simple pleasures of life that money can’t buy and the government can’t take away!