Charity when it was desperately needed, frugality and bargain hunting when there was little money, industry to create what people would buy, capitalizing on their innate talents, and, above all, reliance on God their provider. These qualities carried the Von Trapp Family Singers through hard economic times. The government would do well to imitate them.
Through hard work and faith, the Von Trapps demonstrated the principle of the family as an economic unit. The father didn’t go off to a job; he continued the leadership he learned as a Captain in the Austrian navy. Maria, the mother, didn’t take a job for a second income; she taught the whole family activities that, first, enriched their lives and, later, enriched their bank account.
Above all, the whole family religiously (in a good sense) practiced faith in a loving God and trusted Him to provide when things were needed. And God’s people generously gave of what they had when the Von Trapps came penniless to America and desperately needed housing and furniture.
When they were rich in Austria and able to buy materials and tools, Maria taught the large family she married into how to make Christmas gifts for each other. Made with love and no small talent, these gifts were enjoyed for their thoughtfulness, their rightness for each person. Years later in America, during a Summer of little money, individual family members applied their crafting talents to woodworking, ceramics, carpentry, leatherwork, and jewelry. These sold quickly and orders kept them busy, providing the necessary income. Maria also learned about the bargains for valuable items to be found at auctions. She wrote of walking in the footsteps of American pioneers.
And, of course, Maria introduced the whole family to music – both vocal and instrumental. With occasional help from experts, she built the family of talented musicians into the Trapp Family Singers. She secured the friendship of a manager who sent them on tour after tour across the US until the nation entered WWII.
She grabbed up a C.C.C. camp being abandoned by the government and the family turned it into Von Trapp Music Camp. They welcomed guests from around the country and taught them music – vocal and instrumental – to be enjoyed outside the theater or drawing room.
Certainly, the Von Trapps were gifted with musical talent, the ability to do crafts, and a desire to work hard for the sake of the whole family. They also desired to share their gifts with the people around them. And people paid well for what the Von Trapps had to offer. These values enabled the American pioneers to build this great nation. Returning to them would restore our moral and economic might.
What could you do with your family to add value to society and the economy?