Archive | September, 2011

Someone asked the Dalai Lama what surprises him most

19 Sep

This was his response:

“Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; He lives as if he’s never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived”

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Our debt riddled society

13 Sep

Last week I had a minor car crash. It was minor in that no one was hurt in the slightest, but the impact it had on my life was major. My car was ruined. I only had third party insurance, as my car wasn’t really worth very much and I didn’t have much money for insurance. It was a horrible day. When the crash happened and I got out to talk to the other guy, my heart just sank. I was in total shock, but I knew instantly that this was A Big Deal.

I spent the next few days incredibly stressed trying to figure out how I was going to pay for a new car. My nanny work requires me to have a car; the kids are 11 and 14 so they don’t really need much supervision, they just need to be picked up from school, reminded to do a few things, and taxied to their various extracurricular activities. So not only was I facing a large expense, I couldn’t work. There were several occasions when I really needed my car and it just plain old sucked not to have it.

I know this is a very first world problem. And no one was hurt in the crash. My son wasn’t even in the car, thank goodness, otherwise I would have felt like the worst mother in the world. I still had food to eat and a roof over my head and good friends, etc. But it made me realise all over again how incredibly dependent I am on cheap oil and my car.

 

Last night I bought a car on borrowed money. I borrowed it from my own business, so I don’t have to pay interest or sign my life away to an unscrupulous loan shark. I’m lucky for this, but it still made me realise how vulnerable I am that I don’t have enough money saved to bail myself out of this kind of serious situation. I got a cheap car but it works really well and is lovely to drive.

It was a strange experience though.

The auction itself was terrifying. They speak so loud and so fast, and there’s a whole lot of gesticulating and yelling and pictures flashing on the screen and people barely moving to flash their cards and spend money. When it got to the car I wanted, lot 19, I wasn’t even quite sure when the bid was mine and when it was the other person. I won it, but I was shaking the whole time. What made it even more nerve wracking was the fact that I know next to nothing about cars. I did several test drives, rejected several cars outright, but when it came to the one I chose I had no expertise to check if anything was wrong. It got it’s warrant of fitness last week, so I trusted that. I hope it doesn’t blow up on me or anything. The consultants, one in particular, were actually genuinely helpful and did make the process somewhat more pleasant for me. But still,  I do not want to do that by myself ever again!

I was struck by a sign which said:

NEVER
NEVER
NEVER
Let finance stand between you and your dream car.

And I almost wanted to cry with how stupid our debt driven society is. How about:

NEVER
NEVER
NEVER
Let your dream car stand between you and a sensible choice.

? ?

I love having a car again.

I’m so dependent.

Eeek.