Saturday, October 25, 2014

Begin Each Day With A Grateful Heart--Here's How...

My only request, here at the beginning, is that you read these words with an open mind and an open heart.

Go back in time with me...

The year is 1900. Only about 30 percent of Americans owned their homes in 1900, compared to 70 percent today. And those homes weren’t much. Typically, they were unheated, crowded farmhouses or rundown tenements. Less than three percent of them had electricity; fewer than one in five had running water, flushing toilets, or central heating. Most Americans cooked on wood burning stoves and read, if they could read, by the dim light of kerosene lanterns. 

Working conditions were terrible. In 1900 boys typically went to work at age 14 and kept working—an average of 60 hours a week—until they died. No paid vacations, no guarantees of job safety, no job security, no retirement plans, no health care, no Social Security. Pay was low, averaging less than $4800 in today’s dollars compared to an average of about $32,000 currently. And you know how hard it can be to live on even that amount.

Women rarely worked outside the home at the dawn of the 20th century and they couldn’t vote. In 1900 almost half of the income had to go for food compared to about 10 percent today. Infant mortality was high, even in the upper classes.
In 1900 there were fewer than 5000 millionaires in the US. Today, there are more than eight million, and even 269 billionaires, two and a half times that of Japan, Germany, Switzerland, France, and Britain combined.

A child born in 1900 had 60 percent chance of completing grade school and if they stayed in school, they only went to 8th grade. Fewer than one in four graduated from high school and only the very wealthy went to college.