So. It is applied to the poor and it's true. Lots and lots of examples.
But today, I ran up against another sort of cognitive dissonance. There is a person who is extremely well off that I know. In the 25 years that I have known her, I know that she has always been very much about flaunting that comfortable life style. She also believed that she was envied. Probably by some folks, she was. Anyone's disagreement with her was quickly written off as jealousy. Most shocking, to me, is that she believes that if you live a God approved life, God gives you stuff. The more stuff you have, the more pleased God is with you.
I'm not close to her. We are too far apart in values. The stuff that she places great importance on, I don't. Simply put. That's not to say that her way is wrong. It is just not my way. That's all.
When Tim and I started out, life was difficult. Really hard. But we worked very hard and lived a careful life, and one by one, five kids grew up and got their college educations even though NAFTA led to a lot of layoffs in the machining field and Tim was frequently out of work. He found and we bought an old house in very poor shape that had been on the market for years. We paid about $3500 for it. And during those layoffs, Tim worked on that house. It was our first rental, with an upstairs and downstairs unit.
And we were off.
But the one thing that I noticed was that as our own life got easier, there was (no other way to put it) signs of jealousy from the corner of the acquaintance with the comfortable life. It was overt. She was shocked at one of our purchases (they have one of their own) and she got quite irritated about it, which I thought was strange. Irritation?
We had already been through our hard times, and had found a business that would see us through, but it was the opposite for them. Their business began to see more difficult times and she began to complain about the government a lot more. Every downturn was the direct fault of the government.
Tim read a post from her on facebook.
About how hard Americans have to work now that Biden is president. (She left her job years back)
About how we are slaves to the government because we need to buy a new car, and the payments require us to work and we come home exhausted at the end of the day and cannot enjoy our lives (no. People don't need new cars. Again, she does not work outside the home. She seems to enjoy her life quite a lot.)
About how we don't own our homes, the government does, they just 'let' us think we do. (Based on what? I don't understand this at all, and no explanation was offered, just disgust that it was so, at least in her mind)
Her list of complaints against the government went on and on. I won't bother to hit them all point by point, but what I saw was a foolish woman addicted to a comfortable lifestyle.
What we noticed from watching afar is that she simply did not have the ability (desire?) to adapt her life to changing circumstances. When times are tight in our house, we tighten our belts. In her life, the new cars, the new clothes, the fancy gee-gaws, they all continued, and to do without any of the things that she has become accustomed to was, in her mind, a deprived life.
Cognitive dissonance. Not just for poor folk.
I know so many people just like this woman. They (and she) will never understand the depths of their entitlement.ReplyDelete
There are a batch of them, unfortunately.Delete
There is an actualy thing called prosperity theology which says if you're godly, god will reward you. That also means if bad things happen to you, it's your fault and god is punishing you.ReplyDelete
As for that woman, entitled comes to mind.
I am aware of the prosperity gospel. It is strange to me. So, if you run up against more difficult times, like the acquaintance, does that mean that God is not so approving of you as you thought he was? And what about the folks that espouse thoughts you disagree with? Are they suddenly getting more stuff because God approves of their 'wrong' thinking? Certainly does complicate things, doesn't it?Delete
I think J.D. Vance is a good example of cognitive dissonance himself. After seeing him run on (he who shall not be named)'s platform and win the primary, I probably have read my last book by him.ReplyDelete
I was actually shocked by that paradigm shift myself. When I finished his book, I saw actually where both partisan approaches needed to be tweaked more towards the center. When I heard him talking during his campaign, quite honestly, I saw a man who had sold his soul.Delete
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I know that you see it differently, Ellie, but the Bible also says we should not judge. We are also encouraged to be generous to the poor and the afflicted. It goes both ways. One scripture is not the only thing to base your behavior on.Delete
This post resonated with me on many levels. The hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness is making me crazy these days, as well as discouraged and frightened.ReplyDelete
Yeah. I truly get where you are coming from. These are disturbing days.Delete
I think that everyone sees life through their own lenses, and sometimes people take up the glasses of those who would sell them whatever version of heaven they were asking - but the downside to those glasses all too often is the fuzzy outlines offered of "other" lives.ReplyDelete
I don't know...some times that view of others is sharp and cruel...and total bullshit.Delete
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Are there people that abuse the system? Sure. But I look at it like this: We are called to give of ourselves and our gifts. We will be judged on what we do. If you believe in God, you believe that He will judge the recipients.Delete
I recently wrote similar to this in a blog comment to someone. You live in the richest and smartest most innovative country in the world. People who I interact with via the www in the US are decent, fair, humorous, generous, sensible and clever...but yet, as one blogger pointed out around one third of the population believe Trump actually won the election. There is just such a huge disconnect from reality among so many of your citizens and I do not understand why. I hope you don't take this as offensive. It is hard to stay silent at times.ReplyDelete
No offense taken. I agree with you.Delete
This babe did not have realistic view of life.ReplyDelete
I hope not.Delete
She certainly has a big blind spot.ReplyDelete
I suppose everyone does. But I can't t imagine getting so much of my identity from the things I own.Delete
The government or God - there seems to be a certain type who think that they have no responsibility. Others must provide for them.ReplyDelete
It is a strange time.ReplyDelete
I love how folks complain about what's occurred in Biden's term, but they didn't return or complain about the stimulus checks. LOL. God help our country! Linda in KansasReplyDelete
To be honest, I complained about the stimulus stuff. I just felt like there should be a bit more discernment about how that was handed out. A lot of people who didn't NEED the money got the money, a waste in my book. On a completely unrelated note, it was a shock to me at the number of staunch Republican businesses got on board for that small business hand out. Seems like they would have rejected it on principal.Delete
(Kay of Musings) Well, I’m sure you know what I think about people who feel they are entitled. It’s a very selfish view of life. We did the same thing as you, tightening our belts, economizing throughout our lives so we can be reasonably comfortable and now trying to help our children when we can.ReplyDelete
I think "government" to a lot of people is just a big, abstract bogeyman. They dwell only on government's painful impositions (taxes and regulations) and not all the benefits (roads, public safety, functioning societies, less pollution, Medicare, Social Security, military pensions, etc). They're just not really thinking about it. Hating government is easy.ReplyDelete
And prosperity theology -- well, that's just a mystery to me. It runs counter to everything I ever learned about Christianity and Jesus' teachings.