That simple life

Reading an email from my oldest brother today, I went back to the days of my infancy, when life was so simple. You see, these days no one will dare to drop by your house without previously calling; you will ride you car even if it is to go just around the corner for a bottle of milk, or a six pack—for those who drink. Everything has it’s price: “Would you do such-and-such for me?”, “Sure, it will be $25.” or “How much are you going to pay me?” And the money part will be normal and expected. Nobody does anything out of their good heart any more.

If an old person is carrying heavy bags from the grocery, an offer to help will bring similar worries: “I do not have money to pay you” or, “Help! Someone is trying to rob me!” As I said, we are loosing the warm touch that once made us humans. We work for money, we dream about it, about bills that need to be paid. We put a price on everything and constantly worry about having more money or the lack thereof.

Doctors see just money on every patient—there are exceptions, of course. The attention you get from the doctor is minimal and the bills are huge. Some may even diagnose redundant tests, just to make you, or your insurance, pay. And God forbid if you are old and on Medicare!

People with higher status—understand money—show it in different ways. Better cars, clothes, house…, partners. They live in better neighbourhoods and fly on business or first class. They can afford to send their kids to better schools and pamper them more. They still worry about money, the rest of us just worries more.

Now, I am a capitalist, I like the capitalism. But one thing should not necessarily affect the other. I am happy when people is successful—a great part of which is just having more money. Bottom line is that been somehow successful in live is the goal of almost everyone I know, including myself. But where are those simple “facts” of life we once experienced? Should we forget them?

I remember neighbours sharing their desserts and meals with each other. I remember bags full of fruits being delivered to every house on the block, compliments of Ms. Rose, which had several fruit trees on her backyard. I remember me helping old people to cross the street or carrying their heavy bags and receiving a smile in return. I do also remember when bread and milk were house delivered and even placed on top of your dinner table, because there was not locks on the doors. I remember doctors walking to their patient houses, knowing them by name and “really” knowing their personal problems and family medical history. Churches entrances were polished by the steps of their parishioners and priests—as well as parishioners—did really believed in God. Cents were not thrown away, you could buy a glass of milk with 15 of them and giving a kid a $1 note was a treasure to be cherished for months…

Where did that simple life go?