Hubba Hubba and I were talking the other night, and the conversation centred around our massive fear that Wiggle Man will grow up as A Consumer. Someone whose entire role in society is based on acquiring things. Our society is so obsessed with this that we even buy tap water. Water that we can get for free from our faucet--this we feel the need to purchase in disposable bottles. We're a disposable culture. I just hope we realise it before we dispose of ourselves in the process.
Now, I'm not sitting on top of my high horse (which, in turn, is not on top of a soap box) in this matter. I consume with the best of them, bottled water and all. I can't leave Target without a shopping cart full of things. (Which, incidently, is why I'm not allowed to go to Target as often as I'd like.)
This is about more than just getting and wasting stuff. What scares me is the underlying need that is buried below the slogans and commercials that make up our common consciousness. (Speaking of commercials, does anyone else LOVE the new Geico commercial with Mrs. Butterworth? I laughed my butt off. Which just proves my own point. I mean, a commercial using one product to advertise another? Genius.)
No, what truly frightens me is the need to anesthetize ourselves. We numb ourselves from feeling and boredom with food, entertainment, religion, and of course, stuff. I do this. We all do this. And I want more than that for my son.
The kids at church did the 30 Hour Famine for World Vision this weekend. They fast for 30 Hours to raise money that World Vision uses to help feed the hungry around the world. They get to feel what hunger is like. We made them sleep outside in boxes (and Hubba Hubba and I did, too) to try to help them understand that not everyone has a warm cozy bed. They had to "fetch" their water (bottled...) from our stream. What I hope they learned was that computers, phones, mp3 players and clothes don't matter much when you're thinking about the basics like food, water and shelter.
So where's the balance? Can't we find a happy medium where we have what we need, but not more than we need? That's what I want for my son, and what I want for myself.