by Curt Kovener
Perhaps you recall Aesop’s Fables. If you don’t you should. I am not sure if these little life lesson morality stories are still being taught in school or not. Maybe some Classic TV channels run old ‘Rocky & Bullwinkle’ cartoons which still feature the 60-second fables.
While they are called fables, the ancient Greek writer’s works are more truism than made-up story. Unfounded accounts, perhaps, but they certainly teach an accurate lesson about how we should go through this life.
The story of the grasshopper and the ant still has application in the 21st Century, though today’s economic situation makes the fable perverse.
The lesson centers around the busy ant who toiled daily putting away stores of food for the winter. He was mocked by a slothful grasshopper who lived just for the day eating what and when he wanted and not putting anything away for the future.
When the winter came, the grasshopper died from starvation and exposure when he realized the foolishness of not preparing for the future.
The ant, on the other hand, had ample food stored away and made it through the winter…only to be sprayed with bug spray by Miz Mary when he came roaming through her house in the spring.
That last little observation was a personal aside but the old lesson of thrift and saving and hard work still holds true.
Some of us put money away, invested for the coming retirement winter only now, after following all of the rules and all of the prudent advice of professionals, have much less stored away.
You remember when we were told that the US had the lowest savings rate of any developed country? That only made me more paranoid so I tried to store away a little more.
But now, economists tell us that to return the economy to robustness, we need to be spending, buying, consuming…the very thing that was being lambasted at this time last year.
Perhaps some folks will call me un-American, unpatriotic, a freedom hating, socialist reprobate but I will continue driving a 13-year old vehicle which will soon eclipse 200,000 miles, wear everyday shirts which Miz Mary says should be thrown in the rag bag, and eating a peanut butter & honey sandwich for lunch and leftovers for supper while I still follow the teachings of the ant and continue saving what I can for my now less-than-golden years.
And I will continue saving knowing full well that after I persevere this storm there will probably be someone waiting to spray some figurative insecticide on me.
I confess that I do seem to be doing my part to keep the adult beverage industry out of the economic doldrums. I am writing it off as medicinal, anesthetic attitude adjustment to affordably maintain my even disposition.
As Miz Mary will affirm, you wouldn’t like me when I am cranky.