I can remember what Dr. James Dobson said many years ago: “often parents spend so much time trying to give their children what they never had, that they forget to give them what they did have!” As this month begins and we are drawn to be reflective about the people, events, and ‘stuff’ for which we are grateful, I wish that this nation would wake up to the simple fact that it is not now, nor has it ever been, about ‘stuff.’ We have been so conditioned by this self-indulgent culture and media that all we desire is more stuff.
The worse reality is that the more we have, the more we seem to want. Our desire for things is fed by the many things that we already have. Now we need the latest and the greatest. This is not just an adult problem; we have also made it an issue for our children.
This issue is even more of an issue in a society that considers everything disposable. Even the way we treat those things we own shows a lack of care, and an inner voice that says we can always get this replaced. Adult and children alike have this consumer mindset. Children learn this mindset from parents (and others) who buy them an over-abundance of toys, and from watching those parents treat their own ‘stuff’ with little care or regard.
When will this vicious cycle stop? I don’t know. I doubt that this one blog post will have much of an effect on a culture built around the accumulation of stuff. For the record, I have been bitten by the ‘stuff’ bug as well. I strive to hand on to everything loosely, and to weed out what I do not need, but even this is hard to do.
Today I came across a video from IKEA. (Full disclosure: their stores make me crazy, but I love their extra-long shoe horns so much that I own three of them! Even so, I’d do pretty much anything to avoid stepping foot in the store.) This being said, their video commercial called “The Other Letter” is a wake-up call for us all. Please watch and share with others.