September 5, 2017

My mother was a young woman during WWII – she grew up in the East End of London and worked for the WRAF (Women’s Royal Air Force) hoisting barrage balloons at the Woolwich Docks during the Blitz.

When WWII broke out my mother was just 15.  As a young girl she dreamed of becoming a nurse, but she didn’t have the education.  Instead she was seconded to the WRAF. While she was on duty her home was “bombed out” twice – completely flattened by German bombs.

I recall my mother often speaking about how they used to “make do” during the war years. Foods were in short supply and on ration.  Somehow turnip was synthesized to taste very much like pineapple.  Sugar came from beets instead of cane, and so on.  But they “made do”!

Life was tough back then, but everyone accepted it as “normal” and made the most of it.  Why can’t we do that today?  The fact is that average family wages are much less now than twenty years ago.  Taxes are almost double and we use credit four to five times more than then.

At the end of the day we have less than we would if we just learned to “make do” instead of paying interest and carrying charges on ever purchase we make.  Are we unable to “make do” or are we just stupid when it comes to impulse control?