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Dr. Laura Blog
Short-Term Thrill, Long-Term Pain
09/20/2010
IconI can't get one recent caller out of my head.  A young married woman had her and her husband's friends (another married couple) come live with them and pay rent for a room in their home.  The married friend and her husband were living with the bride's mommy because they could not afford to take care of themselves.  The caller and her husband "took pity" on them and provided them a room.  The caller was upset because the friend wouldn't sign a contract concerning neatness and other items. I was upset because our whole country's economy has collapsed under the weight of people "drinking wine before its time" (if you remember an old Orson Welles commercial).  What I mean by this is:  if you can't afford it, you can't have it until such time as you've earned  it.   Another young caller got married secretly to her "shack-up" because she wanted to be married "now!"  Parents, relatives and friends were excluded.  And now, she's got to 'fess up that she didn't want to "earn" their approval for her marital choice.  She just jumped right into it. It's all the same phenomenon:  investing in things and people before you know what you're doing, and before you're able to handle the issues with sufficient resources. It may give a moment's thrill to have powered through and gotten what you wanted, but then the realities hit, and you're left with a mortgage you can't afford, a spouse you barely know, and situations you really can't handle.  Short-term thrill, long-term pain. I remember when I was on local radio in Los Angeles at night, and my ratings went through the roof.  One out of every four people listening to radio at that time were listening to my program.  I got a wonderful bonus, and I asked my husband if I could use a small part of it to get one of those tennis bracelets - you know, a string of tiny diamonds.  He got one for me, and I was thrilled to no end; not so much because I owned some little diamonds, but because it represented earning  something by working very hard.  I would take care of my son Deryk all day, and then drive to the radio station to be on the air, then come home at 2 AM to get up at 6AM to start my day again. Things don't matter much if they don't represent something. So slow down, build, earn, and then  you can really enjoy.
Tags: Character, Courage, Conscience, Character-Courage-Conscience, Finances, Personal Responsibility, Values
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