Long, long ago, I read a story. I don’t recall all the details, but the story as I recall goes something like this:
A couple cowboys (one older, the other several years younger) traveling the old West, riding their horses from town to town. In each town they’d get directions to the next town, and they did their best to follow those directions, following the paths others before them had left.
After leaving one town, however, they somehow got onto the wrong path that eventually ran out and they were left without a path to follow. And just about that time, the younger one realizes it’s been hours since breakfast at the last town and starts to complain, “Dang, I’m starting to get hungry; how ’bout you?”
The elder one says, “Nope, not hungry.”
They backtrack and find where they’d taken a wrong turn, and they get back onto the right path, but by then it is long after mid-day.
The younger one again says, “Man, I need to eat. Ain’t you hungry yet?”
And again, the elder one says, “Nope, not now. Let’s just ride and get where we’re going.”
The ride along and can see off in the distance across the plain, near the horizon, what looks like a town. It is near dark and they plan to make the town by nightfall.
By this time the younger one can only talk about food. “I can’t wait to get there and find something to eat. What about you?”
And again, “Nope, let’s just keep going.”
By and by they ride into town. After finding the inn and putting the horses into the stable for the night, they get directions to the local cafe and saloon.
The young man orders a steak, some potatoes, and a beer.
The older man asks for two steaks, a baked potato, some green beans and turnips, a basket of bread, and a beer. And he eats it all.
The young man just stares in wonder, and finally says, “What the hell? All day long you kept saying you weren’t hungry, and now you’ve just put away twice what I ate. How come you said you weren’t hungry?”
The older one says, “What’s the point of being hungry if there’s no food around?”
There’s a lot of things I would really enjoy having. But without the money to get the things I want or need, there’s little point complaining about not having those things.