Several years ago, I decided that I needed to simplify my life. I was working two jobs, totaling about 70 to 80 hours a week, not spending enough time with my kids and the things I wanted seemed to always be just out of reach. At one point, I had some of them: I was married, had a nice house, two cars and two daughters. Then, things blew up in my face. My marriage failed, I lost the house, and my ex totaled one of the cars. All that I had left was my girls and, as I said earlier, I wasn’t around anywhere near as much as I should’ve been. It was time for a change. I just didn’t see that, then my part-time employer showed the way: he fired me. I didn’t feel I deserved to be fired and I was pissed when it happened. But, after a little time had passed, I began to realize I was being handed an opportunity. I could be available for my children, I just had to scale back a bit. A good bit. Nowadays, I don’t live in as big a house as some of my contemporaries, I don’t drive a new car and I don’t have a lot of grown up toys. But, I’m happy. Most of the time. I have another confession to make: I’m a frustrated guitar collector. I’m not a great player, more of a dabbler, but I’m working on that. As much as playing guitars, I love to look at them. While the true artistry of a 1957 Les Paul Custom (also known as the Black Beauty) is in it’s sound, the guitar itself is beautiful too. Take a look.
You probably have to a guitar geek like me to see actual beauty in this, but you gotta admit, it’s nice looking guitar. Along with the early Gibson Firebirds, this is the Holy Grail of guitars for me. And, they’re both unattainable unless I come into a lot of money. Each is easily worth over $10,000 and, much as I’d love to have one (or both), even if I had the money, I ‘d never be able to spend it on that.
That brings us to what inspired this post. I believe even if you live in a cave, you’re aware that Apple is about to release the iPhone 4G. What the hell does an iPhone have to do with my guitar fetish, you ask. Simply this: these things are like crack to Apple fanboys and girls and my guitar story was an attempt to relate to this. Within the month, people are going to line up around the freakin’ block for these things. Don’t ask me why, I’m not an Apple fanatic and don’t really get the fascination with phones that do things besides make phone calls. Yeah, I’m a dinosaur; I just started texting in the last year or so. But, here’s the thing: it’s going to cost around $200-300. That ain’t cheap. On her Twitter page, Anne Jackson (author) posted the following: “600k iPhone 4G orders = 2.5 million Africans with clean water for life”. Think about that for a minute. We’re going to spend enough money on what amounts to a toy to provide 2.5 million people with clean water for the rest of their lives. I know me doing without an iPhone 4G isn’t going to help those folks, but I just can’t justify that kind of consumption anymore.
And, it’s not just Africans who are starving or doing without basic needs. There are entirely too many people right here in the United States who are hungry, don’t have a dry place to sleep, the ability to go to the doctor when they’re sick and host of other little things that many of us take for granted everyday. I’m going to leave you with some words from Matthew that influenced my feelings on this: “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,* you did it to me.”