Options have always been a way of life when purchasing an automobile, but today almost all products offer add-ons. Big-company merchandising techniques dictate that today’s option on the new luxury model eventually becomes standard equipment on all models — even for the budget-minded, no-nonsense buyer. Power windows and air-conditioning were once special additions to a new automobile, as was the electronic key that beeps and unlocks doors. How many homes today lack a microwave? How about a refrigerator-freezer sans ice maker? It may take some time, but you can be sure that today’s expensive option will become standard equipment in the not-so-distant future.
One day, your luxuries will certainly become your children’s necessities. People become attached to comfort and ease. Once you get accustomed to an automobile’s memory seat, it will become a real bother to manually readjust the seat to your driving position after another person drives the car.
Every addition to your physical surroundings should be seriously evaluated. Taking a step backward — downgrading — is very difficult and, in many cases, impossible. Upgrading your material possessions is a decision you make not only for yourself; you make the choice for your offspring as well. Each add-on is not simply an option; it is not only an accessory; it is another small — yet permanent — change in your lifestyle and that of your children. Think before you buy into it!
One More Second: Another Thought for The Day
It would almost appear that G-d is hungry for our gratitude, for having us acknowledge Him as our benefactor. Yet this is absurd, because G-d has no need for anything. Why then all the emphasis on gratitude?
Because the foundation of being a mentsch, a decent human being, is being appreciative and acknowledging what others do for us. But since some people see gratitude as being tied to obligation or dependence, they do not wish to feel obligated or dependent on anyone.
(Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, Living Each Day, p. 188)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He has distributed over 500,000 recorded lessons free of charge. He is author of the book 1 Minute With Yourself: A Minute a Day to Self-Improvement, Sephardic Press, 2008.