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The cost of living has many aspects

By Father Jonathan Filkins

Guest Columnist 

Whenever we hear about the expenses of living on this earth we, inevitably, open up our mental ledger-book and begin appraising the financial cost of this purchase, or that. It is quite naturally what we do, inasmuch as we, as humans reflexively relate the value of an object, or situation, to the return garnered from it. Perhaps it is a value judgment about a home, an automobile, a vacation trip, or an apple in the grocery store. Each decision has a cost associated with it and, typically, further costs may be extracted.

The home and automobile require insurance. The vacation trip requires anticipating lodging, gasoline, and transportation expenses; each with a cushion to cover the unexpected. Even the simple apple has costs, which are above and beyond our usual perceptions. Consider the wear and tear on the car, the gasoline used, and the frustration in not finding the type we prefer. Each issue has its cost, some of which will not appear upon the ledger-book of living.

Mention the Cost of Living, to a person in the financial world, and you will get a knowing nod and dissertation about that pesky Federal index consisting of the monthly prices of a set list of consumer items. Mention the Cost of Living to a retiree, and you will get a, often angry, discussion about the same index applied to their Social Security. Each only relates their Cost, to only the financial expense, or largess, derived from the Federal formulae.

However, the under-standing of the true Cost of Living goes far beyond the accountancy of a financial scenario. The true Cost of Living encompasses the larger scope of our world, and our time in it. In each day, we are driven to expend our time and efforts, in order to accomplish the tasks of the day. Regrettably, this may include activities, which are unpleasant, or onerous.

Surely, having a tree suddenly fall, strike our home, and take out a large portion of the roof costs us more than money. The Cost of Living associated with the event includes our frustrations, our labors, and our resolve to return to a sense of normalcy. In our lives, we are often presented with these expenses. How many of us have opined about serving on jury duty, as akin to eating chalk? How many of us have complained about some unplanned event, or situation, merely because it is inconvenient, or it takes time away from our pleasures?

The Cost of Living is a Fact of Life. For we, by God’s grace, have been given a sumptuous bounty. In is an impossible argument to suggest that we, even at the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder, have few options before us and do not have the largess of our Creator. In today’s society, we have been given the gift of excess time. The choice, for what we do with our excess time, may be spent glorifying ourselves, or glorifying God. Each choice has its costs, as we either worship ourselves, or worship God. Reading His words, praying for understanding and strength, placing our trust, in God, and following His path, provides for us an understanding of the true Cost of Living and the Cost of Living an eternal life.

 

Sometimes influential women are not standing in the spotlight, but rather next to their famous husbands.

Myrlie Evers-Williams was one of those women.

As the wife of civil-rights activist Medger Evers, Evers-Williams would continue her husband’s efforts towards equality long after his murder in 1963.

When Evers became the field secretary for the NAACP Mississippi office, Evers-Williams became his secretary.

Together they organized voter registration drives and civil rights demonstrations.

After Medger Evers’ death, she and her children moved to California, where she earned a degree in sociology from Pomona College.

In 1975, she became the national director for Atlantic Richfield Company, an oil-company based in Los Angeles. In her position, she was able to oversee funding for community projects, outreach centers and secure money for organizations like the National Woman’s Educational Fund.

In 1976 she married her second husband, Walter Williams, who was also a civil rights activist.

After years of serving as chairwoman of the NACCP, Evers-Williams stepped down and began the Medger Evers Institute, an organization that preserves her first husband’s legacy and the history of the civil rights movement.

She wrote two books and in 2009 received the National Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum.

Evers-Williams was also chosen to deliver the invocation at President Barack Obama’s second presidential inauguration, the first woman and layperson to do so.

Despite her first husband’s death, she continued to make a name and life for herself until her passing in 1995.

Myrlie Evers-Williams is truly a woman to look up to.