Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Easy Way

PS. This picture has nothing to do with this post. It is a picture of wild geraniums I took last year in the Rocky Mountains, and which showed up on my desktop this morning. I simply decided to share it with you. (Smile.)

Every morning as I enter the kitchen, I quickly mix up a cup of coffee and put it in the microwave to warm up. As it does, I tackle the few cups and dishes that pop up between 1:00 am and 6:30. My husband is a “night person”, and a few cups found scattered around from the previous evening add to the pile. Usually the time it takes me to wash the glasses and the time of the microwave to warm my coffee pretty well match.
This morning, as I entered the kitchen I was faced with the “problem” (such should be our problems!.....) of NO MICROWAVE. It had been unplugged and removed from the enclosed porch next to the kitchen, as part of the preliminary work of making a Succoth-booth there.
[We usually make two Succoth-booths: one on the roof, and one next to the kitchen. The one on the roof is the large, major one, and the one by the kitchen is for people who don’t want to climb up a floor just to drink a cup of coffee, as well as for extra sleeping space.]
Anyway, so I had to warm the water for my daily coffee “fix” with an electric kettle. That meant getting it out, and plugging it in. Oh, so much bother!
Isn’t it amazing how quickly we can get used to certain conveniences?
I remember how several years ago, when my in-laws came to visit, they stayed in a place not too near and not too far from us. They graciously provided us with money for taxis to and from their hotel in the city. When they left, I realized with shock as I boarded a bus to go into town, how quickly I had come to expect the luxury of a taxi. The taxi was three times as fast and 10 times the price. But I had become used to it, and it took a few times of riding the bus to return to the state that I felt it was “normal” to use the slower mode of transportation.
So why should it surprise us so deeply when our children opt for the “easy way” out? Why do half-done dishes, shoes tossed in the direction of a closet (rather than put inside), or a half- sentence of speech when we were hoping for a greater linguistic attainment, surprise us?
Our job is to teach the pleasure of a job well done, the merit of doing something in the proper way, and the happiness of a well-deserved compliment.


Belinda said...

Absolutely. I used to go to visit my parents in England and my mum was very prudent with hydro and hot water. It was wasteful to keep the water heater on all the time so it would just go on when we were planning a bath, but not for doing dishes, those could be done with a couple of kettles of hot water from the stove. I would come back to North America from a visit and luxuriate in endless hot water at the turn of a tap--and a dishwasher! :)

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

Very true, we get attracted by the conveniences and forget what an accomplishing job that takes effort feels like.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree; it is so easy to become accustomed to having the conveniences in our lives. And that is such a good point of what to expect and how to teach our children.