I saw this article from CNN that explains the story behind this famous photograph. The photo was taken by Dorothea Lange at a Migrant work camp in 1936. The mother pictured was 32 year old Florence Owens Thompson. She was the mother of 7 children.
Katherine McIntosh (pictured on her mother's left) was 4 years old when this picture was taken and she had this to say about her mother:
"She was the backbone of our family," McIntosh says of her mom. "We never had a lot, but she always made sure we had something. She didn't eat sometimes, but she made sure us children ate. That's one thing she did do."
The message from the McIntosh is to work hard and live within your means. Meanwhile everyone is saying that on the one hand but the next minute we have commercials for "no payments until 2010", no credit, no cash, no problem. Save but spend to help "save" the economy.
I read an article recently about a mother who had lost her job and was feeling guilty that she could not spend $600 on her one daughter for Christmas. Yes, $600 on ONE daughter. I've spend $500 on 5 kids and felt guilty about that. It's interesting to read about what people consider "hard times".
I'm reading this great book: "We Had Everything but Money: When Banks Closed and Hearts Opened: Stories of the Great Depression".
And what you come away with after reading this is that no money did not equal misery. People were happy. They struggled. They worked hard and sometimes they were disappointed but life went on, they were able to prevail and most of all the children remember those times as filled with the love of family.
So which would you rather have- money, financial security or the love of your parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and aunts and uncles?
N.B. This is a clue for those struggling with the issue of "family size". Please see my last post and the anonymous commenter.