I've had an amusing time just lately: apparently the violinist thinks I must be rather hard up because I only work 20 hours a week and she is of the opinion that the reason that I have the students here is because I "need" the money........she hasn't said as much to me, but has shared her thoughts with the Dane, who has shared them with me!
This seems to have come about because I have objected to the way that the violinist wastes energy. For a member of the Green Party, she is remarkably profligate with electricity and water, and thinks nothing of boiling the kettle, for example, then forgetting about it and coming back half an hour later and boiling it up again..........and then even forgetting again! Lights are regularly left on and we walk about behind her, flicking them off........ She's young, and doesn't grasp the difference between being hard up and not wanting to waste things. She'll learn, one hopes. As for "needing" the money - there is not a lot of profit to be had in this as I am receiving a food grant for them which amounts to £6.80 a day - and that is all. There aren't many places you could lodge with dinner, bed, breakfast and laundry done for that, are there? You can't put a value on the family atmosphere, either.
As we are in the period of Lent, I am helping with some Lent group meetings, and we have this morning been talking about the differences between "wants" and "needs", and I shared the story I had read somewhere about a rich chap coming across another man eating a lentil-based dish and telling him that if he would become subservient to the King, he would not need to eat lentils. His comrade replied, I imagine with a wink, that if the rich chap would learn to be content with lentils, he would not need to be subservient to the King!
Contentment has a great deal to recommend it, I am finding.