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Showing posts with the label Chaucer

Feeling the Financial Pinch? Read the Wife of Bath's Tale for Wisdom about Poverty

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My husband and I are by no means economically poor. We own a home. We both are professionals employed full time. We are not worried about being laid off. We have health insurance. We do not use credit cards. We do not worry about making our mortgage payments or paying for groceries. And yet, like so many Americans, we are pinched. Right now, we need to replace our oven, our washing machine and, we just found out today, the engine on our used minivan. (That will cost us $2,100. Yikes.)

It's easy for both of us to feel burdened by the bills, to focus on how we are getting by instead of ahead financially. It can feel suffocating when I start to define myself by the bills we owe.

Thank God for the gift of literature. My high school juniors are reading Geoffrey Chaucer's  Canterbury Tales, the medieval story about 29 pilgrims on their way to Canterbury Cathedral to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket. He paints a portrait of life in 14th century England and directs …