What are we talking about today?
Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.
Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Friday: Green living.
13 March 2011
The Trouble with Reading
And don't tell me that it did. If that's the case, why have I spent so many years learning things?
I've finished reading The Story of Stuff (which, while enlightening, is pretty depressing), and there's one bit in particular that has stuck with me. Ms. Leonard spends the entire book tracing our possessions from beginning to end-- getting the materials, putting them together, delivery, advertising, etc.-- and then mentions that after a speaking engagement, or after someone watches her YouTube video (and on your own head be it if you read the comments!), or whatever, she is inevitably asked, "Ok, so what should I buy?" And so Ms. Leonard mentions that "Our consumer self is so overdeveloped that is has drowned out all our other identities."
Yikes. I don't necessarily agree with every word in the book. Nor do I think that it's meant to be a "balanced" perspective; you don't hear what the other side has to say (duh; it's her book! This is what she has spent her life working on!). But her good points are thick and fast, including this one. It was one of those punched-in-the-face kind of moments when I read this sentence, because I had spent most of the book up until then swearing to change my buying habits drastically. Obviously, I couldn't say that she is wrong about my consumer self (even I who consider myself to be a "light" consumer!).
Being as it's Sunday and all, this point has even more effect on me today. I want God to be the centre of my life, but is he? I've been reading Living on a Dime for years, and those wise ladies often warn against making money an idol (by spending all one's time thinking about it, either good or bad), or about doing the same with food (by spending all one's time thinking about it--I think you get the picture). I don't want my stuff to become my next idol because I'm thinking about it all the time. Or the earth, which I believe God gave us and expects us to take care of-- the earth shouldn't be the main focus of my attention, either. Or college, or my current work in progress, or my triathlon training... The point is, I get wrapped up in one thing after another. But I want my life to be wrapped up in God, with everything else in its proper place. (Note: I don't think that it's necessary to chuck everything else out of my life altogether; I just want them all where they belong!)
If you aren't a person of faith, then I'm sure this is of no interest to you. But if you are, tell me (please)... How do you make sure to keep things in your life in their proper place, and God at the centre?