Tomorrow is Palm Sunday. When I think of the welcome Jesus had on Sunday and the same crowd was yelling, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" on Friday, I think of my father. He used to say, "even Jesus couldn't satisfy everyone, so accept criticism!"
Of course, he was right. Criticism in life is to be expected, so we'd better learn to accept it. If you have a good attitude, it helps you lead a good life. If you can learn to examine criticism and improve yourself, life gets better and better. That's wisdom.
It's funny how life works. When I was born, my sister Grace was reading a story about a Queen Margaret who was very good to her subjects, so she named me Margaret. My parents were going to name me Sarah. The funny part was all my life I've prayed for wisdom and in my later life I found out Margaret meant "pearls of wisdom." I was very happy to learn that.
Now I'm going to tell you two stories how two people were influenced by our economy.
The first person was a successful accountant. She graduated from one of the best three business schools in the country. She had a successful business so they could afford a beautiful house. They had two children and the family enjoyed hobbies and a beautiful life. Then she started losing her clients until she was forced to close her business. She and her children were forced into eating in soup kitchens. She felt like a failure. They never mentioned her husband. I assume she was a single mother.
Then there's the story of a 38-year-old woman who was married and had two daughters. Her husband was a builder. He was a very good builder and proud of his work. His problem was he was too proud to collect his unemployment check. He felt like it was welfare.
His wife and daughters ate at soup kitchens, but he was ashamed to go with them. They would sneak him some food. They were behind on their mortgage payments and lived in fear of losing their house. They have no car and of course they have no phone.
There are half a million children living below the poverty line. Children are fainting in school from lack of food so the schools are forced to provide light meals. All of this is going on in Greece. I read about this situation in a magazine.
Now let's look at our own situation. I was talking to a young man in church Sunday. He had a similar story. He was working for his parents. He lost his job and they were forced to move in with their parents. That's going to happen to more families. Let's face it. If the house is paid for, the taxes won't go up because more people are in the house. They have to heat the house for one person or for six people. Everybody can read under the light provided in the living room. Of course, there will be more dishes to wash, more baths and more water used, but there are more savings than living separately. Looking at the bright side, there should be less obesity in our country.
We'll have to make some changes. Let's examine our situation. When our country was formed, rich people had property. They not only had houses, they had a lot of land, income from that land, so it was natural to tax the landowners. Nowadays, people own their houses and a yard, so the income isn't there. And a lot of people rent. Of course, the renters pay rent, but it's so much for the apartment. I don't think owners raise the rent when you have a new baby, but that baby will grow up and go to school. Could we have a head tax? I know nobody wants to pay, but we have to do something.
I know we didn't have children in school, but I didn't mind paying school tax because I always felt a good education gives us quality!
Then I notice that every time some new "toy" comes out for the computer, everyone buys it. Then I look at the people going to the ball games. Do you notice how expensive the tickets are?
We always afford what we want to. Now is the time to think about new ways to get money.
When I hear some rich people don't pay taxes and we do, where's the justice? Bill Gates lives on 5 percent and gives 95 percent. I don't see him hurting. I think it's wonderful when people offer to pay out of their abundance! It's the American way!
Let's celebrate Palm Sunday and give to the poor!
Have a big heart!