Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tis the Season?

I heard on the radio yesterday that electronics, particularly large, flat screen televisions, were selling very well at a certain mall in Los Angeles. It was part of some story regarding “Black Friday” and the economy.

And now I tread into uncomfortable territory. I offer at the outset that I am far from pure as I sit typing away on a laptop, listening to one of the family IPods on one of the family docs.

I just thought that perhaps we’re being driven to increasingly pacifying our inner selves so that we can toil away in this questionable economy/society/culture. We’re really quite certain that what we have now is so much better than anywhere else in the world, and mostly better than anything we’ve had before. Yet, we sit very still for most of every day, either in our cars or in front of our computers or in front of our televisions. We get fatter and fatter and we cannot quite figure out what’s wrong. We take more and more medications and hope for some even better ones. We buy one thing and another thinking that THIS one will be just the thing, and then we go out again to buy another. And we cling so desperately to this life, thinking that if we cure, prevent, or predict all these diseases that we then won’t be so plagued by worry.

However, if you look, we’re still plagued by worry, maybe moreso. We’re still getting fatter. We’re paying for new medications and new technology and new sport shoes and new cars- never quite satisfied. Our plan just isn’t working out that well for us. It also isn’t working that well for the rest for the world.

We’ve exported our insatiability, and we chafe at other countries taking resources we are used to having all for ourselves. Instead of reflecting, and maybe finding that we can be satisfied, we fight over those resources. This dear earth cannot support everyone in the style middle class Americans are used to.

Then, we do not even consider where all those old cell phones and laptops and televisions and shoes go when we’re done with them. Just take a minute and imagine that only half the people in your town or city got a new phone, television, pair of crocs, computer, or Ipod this year. I'd guess we sent the rest to the dump. Or maybe better, the old ones were sent to be parted up into new ones or at least taken to haz mat to be “properly” disposed of (and what does THAT mean?). I will just point out that I haven’t seen many of these things labeled that they were made exclusively of old components; I do not think that would sell well when shelved by the brand new, everything improved versions.

So, if you’re reading this, you probably have a share in the crime we are committing against our world, and maybe if we can at least admit our guilt, we can all try to upgrade less frequently- or even do without occasionally.

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