My 14 year old honors student came home yesterday and asked me to critique a paper she was writing about her take and understanding of the poem "Richard Cory". As soon as I heard the name I knew what she was writing about although I did not know the official piece that was apparently written in the late 1800's. The one that I grew up with was tailored to fit within the 1960's but the theme is exactly the same with the same ultimate ending.
And then there is the relation to the poem where you have to look at all of the stresses you feel in your life during these financially difficult times and realize that for all that glitters, the world around you isn't gold. You don't know what faces are being put on before you. You don't know that the neighbor who is driving around in new cars all the time and is always out to eat while wearing the latest mall fashions is buried in credit debt and not sleeping at night with fears of how they will ever keep it up. The higher you rise, the harder you fall. We all fall. We all trip sometimes and we all feel the hurt when we land. Although my husband has been laid off 4 times in the last 3 years we have survived. We have many around us that are in the same boat. Misery loves company and we have so much company that we can have one rocking party! But when I wipe away my pain and clear away the tears, I see that we are doing just fine. We are reasonably clear of major debt, we have enough strength to work it out and enough creativity to come up with what we need. The most important part of all is that we are respected, supported and loved by those around us. We may have had to pass on many dinners out and expensive social events but we have great potlucks filled with friends and family. My kids might not have had big expensive birthday parties in the latest hot spot place to party but they have had friends over, lots of fun and they never walked away feeling disappointed. We have done very well with what we have. I share my tips,discounts and bargain secrets so that some of my wealth, although wealth in knowledge alone, may help those that are willing to try and willing to listen. I share what I have because although I may struggle and cry and feel very low at times, I am ultimately richer than those I thought I was aching to be. I am richer than Richard Cory because I am not alone and apparently he was.