It's Mother's Day and I'm 500 miles away from my mom...but she's been on my mind for the last week. As I've listened to news stories, I've thought about my mom and even had a conversation with my best friend about her.
We joke about my mom being so "frugal." But the other side to her frugality is that she is very generous and kind. and shares everything she has with everyone else. When we lived on the farm, she took eggs to church and sold them for something like 50 cents so other people could have cheap and farm-fresh eggs.
We had more than enough and there was no reason they should go to waste so she sold them cheap. She had a HUGE garden that she had created with anything from squash to tomatoes to peas to potatoes. She exchanged different produce with friends and neighbors who had gardens, but often gave the extra to people who didn't have a lot--shut ins, elderly, and people she knew couldn't afford a whole lot.
Once our house became a Bed & Breakfast, the business status provided her with discounts for different products in hopes that she would buy their product and sell them to her patrons for a profit. Instead, she let the customers and friends browse the book, collected orders, and purchased the products at cost so others were able to receive the discount. There was nothing in it for her. She just felt like everyone else should have the opportunity to have what she had.
Even when we opened the Bed & Breakfast, I can remember them having conversations about how much to charge. They didn't want to charge exorbitant amounts. They didn't...and in the 10 years or so they were open, I only remember them increasing the price by $5 or $10 one time.
My mother never used her opportunities for self-gain. I never remember her scrimping on quality in the Bed & Breakfast for the guests or in any business they ran. Yet, she and my dad have been able to retire very comfortably. They are enjoying traveling the world (literally).
I think of the executives at these large companies. T-mobile just tacked on an extra $2.50 tax to mine (and I assume the rest of their millions of customers') bill. The representative I talked to said it was a "discretionary tax." The CircleK car wash in my neighborhood has missing panels where the keypad to insert your money and your code is, has a rusty, deteriorated door, and has a dryer at the end that won't drop down, yet the man I talked to said, "we don't have money to replace the car wash"...and evidently don't have money to make it better either...yet they are willing to keep it open (and actually refuse to close it) so that people like me can spend their $5.00 for a car wash that isn't in very good shape. They are willing to take my money, but aren't willing to use my money on the car wash in my neighborhood. I guess these executives are scared they might not have enough to live on so they're willing to exploit others.
I wish everyone had a mom like mine. If they had, they would know to always provide good quality and not to scrimp on people in hopes of making more money for yourself. They would know that sometimes people are not as well off financially as they are and they would think about that when offering products. In the end, my parents aren't just "getting by," they are in good shape financially...and they did it all by passing along their kindness to others.
Thanks, mom. I'm glad God chose you to be my parent.