How to Cope when Your Frugal Ways are Called Cheap
Sometimes I just cannot stand how people focus on the monetary things in life- from our homes to our cars to how or children dress and the vacations we take. There are so many opinions formed. It’s like judging a book by its cover. It amazes me because I’ve been asked numerous times to teach people to do some of the things I do on a regular basis: i.e. canning, freezer cooking, etc. Some people don’t get it. Here is how to cope when your frugal ways are called cheap.
A friend of mine stopped over to pick up some baked goods he ordered from me. We spent some time chatting and he realized that instead of buying mulch I was using leaves He just looked at me, shook his head and called me cheap.
Now, normally this wouldn’t have been a big deal. Questioning my means, especially by someone I thought knew me, stunned me. I immediately felt the urge to jump up and defend myself in why I was doing it that way. Our culture is one of rationalization and denial.
If You Don’t Pay My Bills…
The problem is that I shouldn’t HAVE to justify myself or my methods. I shouldn’t even jump into that mindset. I accept that my lifestyle, hopes and dreams are not along the lines of society’s “norms”, however it’s very hard to not want to justify our lives…. even when the way you do things really has no bearing on that other person OR when you really don’t need this person to help you or support you in any way. How you choose to exist really shouldn’t have any bearing on anyone outside of your immediate parameters. But, the question remains: how do we stop the need to justify our life choices to others?
I am seen as crazy for wanting tradition. My desire to live off the land, reduce my carbon footprint, and become more self-sufficient is alien to most. What good is success monetarily if you have no time to enjoy it? Why is it that the bulk of society sees this culture of “have” as so appealing?
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
Not to sound flippant, but I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead and Z Nation on television. This isn’t because I think the zombie apocalypse is imminent, but because when SHTF, people aren’t going to have any idea how to survive on their own. I think that becoming self-sufficient is truly just a step towards self-reliance. Technology may very well cause the extinction of man. I actually think that society would become better in such an event.
Our neighborhoods would once again be communities of people working together. Food would require work to obtain (hey, there goes the obesity epidemic!). We would learn to coexist with Nature again instead of fighting it tooth and nail. We would truly know where our food was coming from. The government could no longer mandate how many harmful ingredients corporations can hide (The Dark Act). Corporations would no longer lord their control of seeds and food over us (Monsanto).
Survival of the Fittest
So you have a big house. You have a nice car. Your summer home is in the Hamptons. What good are “Things”? Maybe they will be good for bartering. I doubt it. Those of us who know how to survive are not going to want your stuff without power.
I’ll still with teaching myself all of the survival skills I can. In the meantime, I’ll keep trying to teach others the same along the way. When we all contribute more to our survival, the better our odds to survive will be.