It's very easy to feel down about the rising prices, lower net income, mounting petrol prices and goodness knows what else.
I noticed just a few days ago that most of the traffic on my morning commute stays in the slow lane at a steady 55mph, the boy racers seem less too.
As I sat in the left hand lane trying to get the best fuel economy I could along with most of Britain's other traffic, I realised that there was a noticeable decrease in the 4 x 4's and bigger cars. Most of the cars are suddenly smaller. Peugeot 206's, Fiats and Ka's were in abundance. People are starting to think smarter and adapt as money becomes ever tighter, and petrol / diesel prices even more insane. Not only are people now driving cars that have a better MPG, they're driving at the most fuel efficient too. Having a bigger / posher car just isn't an issue any more, it's about being as sensible as you can with the rocketing cost of motoring in Britain today.
I'm chopping my 1.8i MGF for a little Corsa sxi 1.3i Turbo diesel next week. It's mad not too. I couldn't give a monkey's anymore about looking cool - I want the 70mpg and save, I reckon £100 p/month on fuel, and, get this, pay £35 tax this year, and nothing next year! That's a bit different to the £180 p/a I'm paying now. The group insurance is 3, no doubt another big saving on the premium too. The Kia Sedona 2.9tdi I have will suffer the same fate when I can find a decent enough fuel efficient car to replace it - but it needs to pull a caravan. A Toyota Corolla / Mondeo? Any suggestions?
I'd love to think I could get so efficient I could get a turbine for the house and some solar panels. I'm not at all green, it really goes over my head, I just like the idea of gadgets and saving money. I can bet that others are thinking the same way too. In fact, I know that most of the circle of friends and acquaintances I have are thinking the same way.
Society had definitely taken luxuries for granted while the poorest have sadly become poorer. I actually like the thought of everyone having to be more careful as it seems to provoke a bit more thought. Stretching the thought a bit further, the most contented people I met were in Swaziland. Here we think that having only one TV or an outdated DVD player is something to moan about. In Swaziland, some of the kids don't own a pair of shoes. Lots of the mud houses don't have glass in the windows, yet the folks are the most warm, genuine people you could meet. Britain was a much happier society immediately post war with rationing and without too much of the trappings of today.
I'm ever the optimist and would love to think that we are perhaps a little less selfish and just a bit more thoughtful than the halcyon days of a few years back. Perhaps the credit crunch has some small positive side to it?