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We live in a world of "disposable." First, it was just paper plates, cups and diapers, but now it’s expanded to include more things — even video cameras and telephones! We rarely get things fixed. We are much more likely to think that it is easier to buy a new one. But you have probably noticed that your parent’s generation are not really like that.

For years, my dad had trouble getting out of a chair. He would count one, two, three and then use ALL of his energy and muscles to try and get up, using not only his legs but his arms also. You would just ache for him as he struggled and sometimes had to try multiple times (especially if he was seated in something low). Well, his problem solving children had an idea! We usually tried to “fix” everything for him and make life as easy and carefree as possible. We, his children, had the brilliant idea to buy him a “lift chair."  

The chair was electric and had a switch that he could punch that would literally lift him up until he was almost standing! This aided him in standing up with greater ease — weren’t we the geniuses? We were so proud of our purchase, and each of us and every one of our children and grandchildren tried out our new piece of equipment! Well, it was a great idea except for the fact that dad would not use it. The reason you ask? Dad didn’t want to burn out the motor! (He was already over 80 when we bought it!) But his frugal upbringing and non-disposable character could not get used to the idea and he barely ever used the electric part of the chair that we had been so excited to give him. Perhaps it's partly the idea that he needed it (which he didn’t like) and partly the fact that he really did not want to burn out the motor, but either way, he really did not put it to use.

We teased dad about not using his chair, but the lesson of frugality is a lesson we can all learn from the older generation — back when a person fixed a toaster, not bought a new one; when a person ate leftovers and had meals with only beans or vegetables. I greatly respected my dad for never wasting anything (sometimes he even ate questionably old food from the refrigerator!). He hardly every indulged — maybe dessert occasionally. And he had a work ethic that never ended no matter how difficult things were. The older generation still has much to offer and we have wisdom to gain from them!