You know how the saying about when you assume goes.
I think assumptions are funny things. We make them everyday. Maybe I shouldn’t generalize and say we. I’ll narrow that down to only myself. I do it all the time. Not only do I make assumptions but I then make judgments based on that assumption. Now, I’m sure ya’ll want to know in what way is this relevant to a blog about debt? Well, I’m afraid that this terrible habit of mine applies mostly to people and money.
Here’s just one example. My husbands coworkers make about what he does. They are part of a union so pay is kind of general knowledge. These guys have huge, fancy houses. They drive $50,000 vehicles and their wives drive new cars as well. I look at them and think “how is this possible?” I mostly try and keep these kinds of things to myself and when I just can’t keep it in I’ll spout my indignations to my husband. Well, it turns out kids hear just about everything. Well, that’s not true. They never seem to hear me tell them to clean their room but that’s another conversation.
The other day my eleven year old said to me “Mom, I thought teachers didn’t make a lot of money.” I asked her why in the world was she concerned about the pay of a teacher? And I’m sitting there all proud thinking that she thinks teachers should make more because of their value to our youth and society. What she said to me makes me very ashamed of myself. She said “The librarian at our school gets her nails done, you know with the white tips? And I don’t know why she would spend that much money when she doesn’t make very much. That stuff is expensive, right?”
Ya’ll. Words cannot describe how I feel about this. I know I previously said ashamed but I don’t think that entirely encompasses it. I think this happens a lot. I think this is especially true about people we interact with on the internet. It’s easy to assume you know all about their situation and to start harshly judging them. I’m mostly a positive person. I’m good at seeing two sides of an issue and understanding that both sides usually have a point. But I’m terrible when it comes to judging someone when I think they are doing wrong. Especially if I think what they’re doing is wrong but they seem to be prospering.
After I picked my self righteous chin up off the floor, I explained to her that it’s wrong of us to judge by outside appearances and even if you know some details you can never truly know all the details. And even if I do know all the details it’s never my place to decide if what they’re doing is wrong or not. I know this a lot of blathering about something that may not interest ya’ll at all and it really shows how awful I can be, but my point is this, I do not want our desire to get out of debt make my girls feel like others that are ok with debt are somehow beneath us. Because then we’ll be out of debt, which will be wonderful, but I’ll have raised little jerks that think like me. I’d rather have so much debt that I couldn’t breathe, than that.