De-nial is a river in Egypt, they say

Most people in the western world don't understand the concept of self-denial anymore. Pity.

It’s a different world out there from the one our parents knew, and we are the ones who are changing it. Just like our children will change it, and their children after them.

I read an opinion piece on the CBC website this week about how children are becoming “candyholics”, and adults are to blame.

It got me thinking about my own childhood with regards to candy.

Candy was Big Stuff back then, whether it was an ice cream cone or Hallowe’en or a trip to the penny candy counter with a dime!

The reason that candy was a big deal was because it was rare. Children didn’t have money – they attended school instead. And although our parents worked (in my family as in most families I knew at the time, only one parent worked), they didn’t make enough to shower us with candy all the time.

That’s not to say that my dad didn’t love sweets, but the preferred sweets in our family were pies and cookies and the occasional birthday cake. To this day, I won’t eat apple pie because it just doesn’t, and I dare say never will, taste as good as the pie that my mother made from scratch. And her date-filed oatmeal cookies… we never missed store-bought candies.

But times change. Maybe it’s because we want to give our children something that we never had access to, or maybe it’s because candy gave us a rare pleasure.

It’s like that with a lot of things these days. We used to get lots of socks for Christmas; now kids are getting phones and other electronic devices. That’s just the way it is.

In the western world, we don’t deny ourselves the pleasures of life that we did a generation or two ago for lack of money. Or perhaps they just weren’t available to us then.

How can you wonder about it when shopping is poised to become the next Olympic sport? Or, in some circles, known as “consumer therapy”. Hopefully future generations will reverse that trend for something that benefits the planet.

Wendy Coomber is the editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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