Monday, October 14, 2013

I AM THANKFUL FOR...


Please bear with me this week as I may be all over the place with my thinking. There are a few subjects I’d like to touch on so it’s going to be a smorgasbord of ideas being thrown at you here.

            First off, I want to wish our first-born child the best 30th birthday a person could ever have and I’m sorry for publicly divulging your age Meghan. It could be worse you know…you could be as old as me! Thirty years?! Why, that can’t be…because that’d make me…hmmm…you were born when I was how old?…scritcha, scritcha…carry the one…that makes me…OLD!

            Our Meghan Rose was born at 5:35pm on Tuesday, October 11th, 1983 in the General Hospital in Regina. It was the day after the Thanksgiving long weekend and her birthday and Thanksgiving have been the cause for a double celebration in our family every year since then and this year it’s going to be even better! I can hardly wait.

            Thank goodness we started our family thirty years ago because a recent article in the “Chicken Little Times”, or as they refer to themselves- “MACLEAN’S-Canada’s National Magazine”, revealed that the average cost of raising a child from birth to eighteen-years-old is a staggering $678,952.99 or roughly $38,000.00 per year. The cover story reads, “THE UNAFFORDABLE BABY-Inside the distressing new math of raising a child in Canada”. “New” math is an understatement because I really think this must be a ploy to control the over-population of our planet or something. There’s more than a little fudging of the numbers to get it to their inflated number and I would say that the monetary cost of child-rearing has always been pretty high. Relatively speaking, of course. Today, or thirty years ago, if a parent had had any idea how much raising a child would cost nobody but Warren Buffet or Bill Gates would have even considered it!

            Then I read this insightful headline, “The Rich Sleep Better in Canada, Research Finds”. Really? This is a revelation? The article goes on to state: "A new national survey finds 76 per cent of households whose incomes top $100,000 get six to eight hours of shut-eye every night — the highest proportion of any income group — while Canadians in one of the lowest-earning groups ($15,000 to $24,999) are likeliest to average fewer than six hours."

            It kind of stands to reason, don't you think? The rich guy crawls in to a big warm bed with a full stomach and his security system engaged only worrying about how to avoid paying more taxes while the minimum wage earner is worried about keeping the heat on and food on the table while keeping one eye and an ear open for intruders and also worries about how to avoid paying more taxes. Who do YOU think would sleep better? Thought so.

                Thankfully, the “Chicken Little Times” occasionally throws us a good news story, too, as they recently related the story of Joey Prusak of Hopkins, Minnesota. Joey, a 19-year-old Dairy Queen attendant was serving a blind customer who mistakenly dropped a $20 bill. A woman in line pocketed the money and swore at Prusak when he refused to serve her unless she returned the bill. He politely asked her to leave and then gave the man $20 from his own wallet. Another customer emailed an account of the incident to the owner, who posted it online. The note found its way to the attention of billionaire investor Warren Buffet, whose holding company owns Dairy Queen. Buffet congratulated Prusak and invited him to the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder’s meeting in May 2014. I’m guessing Joey Prusak’s actions will not go unrewarded.

            I am thankful that Joey’s parents didn’t hear about how expensive it is to raise children or they might not have had this fine young man and raised him so well. I am thankful that there are always good news stories to hear regardless of how seldom our news media tell them. I am ever so thankful that I was in that delivery room when our very first baby took her very first breath. I am thankful that my wife and I chose to have, and raise, three children, the cost be damned. I am thankful to have a warm bed to sleep in tonight even though six to eight hours in a row is a stretch. I am thankful that there are different ways to determine “rich” and monetarily is not the only way.

            Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
            “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”-Oprah Winfrey (1954-

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