Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lessons from a War Rationing Booklet

I stumbled upon a marvelous find at the Glen Eagle garage sale. In fact, when I saw the weathered, brow folder marked "$1", my heart started to beat a little faster. I am, after all a fan of "American Pickers". I could tell this was something old and cool. I snatched it up, handed the lady my dollar, and ran down the driveway before she realized she had just sold something valuable for $1. I pulled out the contents of the folder with trembling hands to find a War Rationing Book from World War II. "I'm a picker! I'm a picker!" I yelled as my husband drove away from the curb. I had never seen a rationing book before, and was interested to peruse the contents. There was a lot of official info, and handwritten names and addresses of people from a Crawford family. To my amazement, the rationing stamps were still inside, some still in sheets. Amazing. I flipped to one portion of the booklet that stood out to me.

'Rationing is a vital part of your country's war effort. Any attempt to violate the rules is an effort to deny someone his share and will create hardship and help the enemy. Give your whole support to rationing and thereby conserve our vital goods. Be guided by the rules: "If you don't need it, DON'T BUY IT." '

I was struck by two things. First, that it was so important to conserve goods and not waste that it was considered "helping the enemy" not too. I think of how we buy and consume in this country. All the waste. It made me take a second look at what is on my list, and also recommit to buying second hand and making more conciouse choices about what I do and do not purchase.

I also think of our talents and gifts. How wasting them instead of using them is helping the enemy. Your gifts are God-given to be used for a purpose, not hidden away or wasted.

The second thing that stood out was of course the last sentence. "If you don't need it, don't buy it." Yep, something I need to remember. It's so easy to get caught up in consumerism. It's something I'm trying to teach my children as well. It's not "things" that make us happy. They give temporal pleasure, but we don't need a bigger house with a playroom, or a bigger TV to be happy.

I gleened many nuggets out of my first "Picker" find. The war rationing folder ended up valuable to me in more ways than one!