When Richie and I were first married I got a fortune, in a fortune cookie, that I have kept in my wallet next to our family picture to this day. It reads, "If you can't be happy with what you've got, how can you be happy with more?" That simple little fortune has gotten me through a lot of really rough times. Like when I would go to the grocery store when Tristan was a baby to get groceries and say a little prayer that my debit card wouldn't get declined, and we would get through until pay day. I would look at our family picture with that sweet little boy and read that quote, and I would remember that I had all I needed, and we were doing all that we could.
Those days have slowly passed, but I think that it is a very valid statement still, that stands the test of time. It isn't the "stuff" that should make us happy, but the time spent with family and friends. The times that we are totally in tune and conscious in conversation with loved ones. I feel that the US as a whole has found itself in this financial situation because people have lived so far outside of their means for so long. People have tried to fill themselves up with things that can't possibly do that. People have spent way too much time trying to impress people that they don't even know. I hope that the silver lining in this economic crisis will be that people have learned to be happy with what they NEED. And have learned to know the difference.