Monday, August 25, 2008

Should one feel guilty for what they have?

Ann gave me a very special graduation present—she’s pregnant! Not really, my new baby is a loaded, bright red, 2007 Corvette. I was able to find it on the internet from a dealership in Bloomington, IL. The owner had driven it for a year and put 5500 miles on it. It was victory red but what really caught my attention is the black and red interior and leather seats. It is a gorgeous car and it has all the extras with upgraded wheels, exhaust and the black opaque top that comes off for a convertible feel. It even has the heads up display which puts the miles per hour and other information on the windshield for easy viewing while driving. It has 408 horse power and is very “peppy” to drive. It corners extremely well because it is so low to the ground. It averages almost 20 mile per gallon and most of that is in town driving. It is a lot of fun to drive even though it is out of character for me to own it. Not a bad deal for $42,300. The only negative is that it had a front license plate holder that they took off of it and there are some light scuff marks in the paint from that. I think I can buff them out but have not tried yet.

All my life I have been ultra conservative and this car is so impractical because it only has two seats and therefore it limits when I can take it because I do still have a family to think of. But since I still have a new suburban the same color I just trade off what I drive depending on how many people are going with me and what I have to pick up.

I love the wind in my face and the feeling of road supremacy since there are few cars that are faster and have as much power as my Corvette. If I need the power to pass someone I have it. However, it is a light car made out of fiberglass so it is not safe if a bad accident where to occur. Totally opposite of my heavy suburban that would keep me safe in an accident with any other car.

The bottom line is that I love driving the car but I still get that gnawing inside me which is why I never purchased one before, which says, “should you spend so much money on yourself when there are so many people that have so little that you could donate the money to? Am I being selfish for using the money on an item that has such limited use? Am I entitled to such a luxury after having worked so hard and having been so generous with my money all my live? Is it OK to splurge this once on myself since I donate a lot more than the cost of the vehicle each year to charitable/religious causes? Am I required under the law of consecration to deny myself of all worldly things and give all that I have to the poor and needy or do I only need to be ready and willing to do that if called upon to do so?

One thing I have learned in life is that it is easy to give everything you have when you have little but it is much more difficult to give everything you have when you have a lot because you spent a lifetime working hard and sacrificing so that you can get to where you live a comfortable life.

3 comments:

Officer Leeroy said...

That thought has crossed my mind before, though I've never had a corvette in mind (more along the lines of cool gadgets). I always make myself feel so guilty that I don't end up going through with it. So maybe the democratic ideal of redistribution of wealth isn't that bad. We feel bad accumulating wealth and spending it selfishly and instead feel like we should give it up. Are the Democrats brainwashing us? Conservatives are all for "you're rewarded for working hard." You can always sell it again once the novelty of a cool sports car wears off, then it's not as big of an expense...(now I'll comment for Sherrie since she can't type right now):D&C 82:17 says that in the united order we will have according to our needs and wants, as long as our wants are just. v.18 says that it should be for the good of the Church...so you could take the missionaries on exchanges with you in it and that would make it alright. Or you could also donate it to your children and they could use it for their date nights...we'd even let you drive it when you come and visit us!

Coach Ann said...

I don't think you have to deny yourself EVEYTHING. I thnk the majority of expenses should be toward good will and charitable causes, but a splurge every now and then is probably not a bad thing.

robbienmeri said...

I agree with what you said "you need to be ready and willing to do that if called upon to do so." I think you will be ready to do that by giving now, which you do. It is also important to always remember that everything we do have we have been blessed with from the Lord and he can take it away at anytime. We had a high councilman assigned to our ward that stressed the importance of giving from the very beginning of our marriage even as poor students, because if we don't have the attitude of giving when we can actually afford to give we won't because it will be harder when you have more, and we have been thinking only of ourselves for however many years until we started making money. One Christmas in my home ward when I was in high school our bishop asked if members would be willing to donate money so that we could help some of the members of our ward have a Christmas. We have a pretty wealthy ward, but we also have lots of poor students with families. He said we should donate until it hurt, til it was actually a sacrifice for us. When someone has tons of money it's not a big deal to donate $20, that's like a penny to them, but say they give equal to their mortgage payment, then it starts to hurt a little. I remember looking at how much was in my bank account and deciding how much to give so that it hurt. It did hurt, I had lots of plans for that money, things I had been saving for, but at the same time it felt so good to help someone else. It isn't wrong though that I then continue to save to buy what I had been planning for. I also think when we start to put material possessions in front of relationships or we become so obsessed with them, or they take up so much time that could be used in some better way, then I think we need to rethink having that thing. Anyways, that's my two cents or maybe even a little more.