"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Monday, December 14, 2009

What Do You See?

I found this picture on line the other day and it made me think of a few things. My title leads me into the post, as I wonder what do you see in this picture?

1. This is an old fashioned cooking stove and it is clear from the picture that this family must have been poor.

2. This is a cookstove of a family that clearly cooked many a meal on it, as there is an abundance of pots and pans neatly hung up or stored near by.

3. This is not only the cooking area for the home, but a source of warmth when it is cold outside. This serves as the laundry room in the winter or when it is raining, as a clothesline is tucked neatly above the stove and has dried many an item that the family wears. The floor is swept and not a crumb is visible. All the pots and pans have a place and are stored awaiting the next meal, and the wash basin is hung up after the dishes have been washed and put away. The housewife clearly loves her home and takes pride in the things she has.

So how about it? What do you see?

Life is not about what you accumulate, but how you live with what you have or what you are given. For me I see something that is humble and lovely. I see that perception clouds everything else and confuses reality. Perception often impairs attitude. When you only see gloom, despair, and emptiness you miss out on the simple beauty that life has. What are you missing in your own life because you have blinders on and see only the negative?

Proverbs 31:31 Give her the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her at the gates.


Happy Hermit said...

I guess I just see things differently. I see cleanliness and pride. This is what my Grams house looked like for a long time , poorness ever even lighted on mind. There is pride in the hanging pails and pots and in the cleanliness of it all.

My house is not decorated , even in the holiday season , because our house focuses on using things efficiently , and appreciating what we have.

During an very odd transition period in my life (between being houseless and housed) , I owned my very own woodshed on 5 acers.

yes , a shed. Nothing but a bedroll , a shelf of canned goods and a box of books.

Some of my friends were apalled at my home , while some of my other friends just thought it was a mansion. I guess I really learned about perspective.

Vickie said...

Thank you for this post today. I needed to hear that! I get so caught up in the Christmas season that sometimes it's good to get a little wake-me-up to remind me what's important! I like your label for this post! I hope you get your cookstove!

Humble wife said...

HH- I see the same things- humble and lovely. I am fairly basic that way, and I wrote this post so perhaps others would try and change their perspective!

Vickie- I am glad that this was the right thing to read today! I love the season too, and am busy plotting and planning oldie cookie recipes! As to the cookstove, thank you- I found one on Craiglist and after the turn of the year, should have enough put away to buy it!!!

Shane Rios said...

Wow that was a good post =)

Glenn B said...

I see Stella and Agnes Comminski, they were the two old gals from whom my uncle bought his farm many years ago. They lived in a house that had a stove like that in the main room. It served as heater and cooker and thecenter piece of their home. If I find the pics again (may have lost them in 6 WTC on 9/11) I will post them on my blog. You would be amazed at the sight of them.

Other things I see - either a usually very neat person (the only things askew are the frying pans) or a room that was in essence psoed for this picture. I also seea pretty big tea kettle and decent sized coffee pot. Lots of folks used this stove or enjoyed the goodness that came from it. Was this shot taken in an old restaurant or a home?

Of course I also see the more obvious such as the wonderful scrollwork on the stove, the fact that someone was partial to aluminum pots (my guess)and that it must have been hot as Hades when cooking with all the sheet metal on the walls to reflect the heat right back at ya (fire safety 101).

All the best,