Working as a secretary in the Math Lab, I've come to realize characteristics and habits of people in general. Or at least, as Americans, BYU students, college students, or however you want to classify them.
For example, we provide services like a pencil sharpener, 3-hole punch, stapler, tape, etc. On occasion, our stapler runs out of staples. This is where the problem becomes apparent. Some people, rather than asking for staples, simply ask for a new stapler, one that has staples in it. Really? Every time this happens, I can't believe it. And, surprisingly, it happens quite often.
Here's another example. We check out books and calculators. When someone wants to check out a calculator, we ask if they want a graphing calculator (the really nice fancy-schmancy kind) or a scientific calculator (the less fancy kind, but that still works very well, and does more than most students need anyway). I can always tell when people DON'T need a graphing calculator. When I ask they think for a second and say, "Ummmmmmm......graphing." If you have to think about it that long, you don't need it.
This is what it comes down to: we can't stand not having the best of the best, and if something breaks or malfunctions, we don't think to take the time to try to find the problem, let alone try and fix it. Growing up, I almost never had the luxury of having the best of anything. And if something broke, we fixed it or learned how to deal without it. The General Authorities have been warning us for the past 2 General Conferences at least that we need to learn to do without, to make things last, etc.
I always get emails about how we should prepare food storage, get ready for huge natural disasters and economic crashes, and I hate them. That's not what this is. This is a call to people to learn how to be self-sufficient, and how to not be so...snobby is the wrong word. But it really bothers me that people always have to have the newest of everything. I don't know the word to describe it. Living simply has always been my preferred way of life. I think things would be so much easier if we all learned how to live with what we have, to appreciate things, and that we don't have to have everything.
Just a thought.