Since our theme this week seems to be stuff, stuff taking over our lives, or the organization thereof, I started to think about the importance of material things in our present world and how disquieting it is.
We all have too much stuff. Yesterday I spoke to a class of eight year olds. I asked them who had an iPod and nearly all the hands shot up. The kids across the street from us all had their own TVs, computers, cameras, and anything else you could name by the time they were ten. They had nothing to yearn for or work for.
Advertisements on TV lead us to expect everything material that we want. All those Christmas ads that urge us to put a Lexus under the tree and then our spouse will love us forever. I find it worrying that our economy is based on consumers buying things. When we get scared and cautious and don't buy, the country falters. Is this any way to run a planet?
Yesterday also I was in Michael's craft store and was pleasantly surprised by the long line. That store is always busy. In spite of the fact that one can buy anything ready made, people still want the satisfaction of making things. I've just taught my two little granddaughters to knit. They love it(even though I have to pick up a lot of dropped stitches for them) I believe we are programmed to work, to create, to grow our own food and we only get real satisfaction by doing that.
When I was a child we were not poor but we expected so much less. Christmas for me meant a new sweater, or at the most a new LP. We only ate turkey at Christmas, only saw tangerines and nuts around that time. Which made them all very special. I saved up for a couple of years to buy my own bike and I was so proud of it when I finally bought it. So another thing I believe is that humans are programmed to strive for something. We need goals. It's good for the hunan character to have to work and wait and dream.
I look around our house and I see a TV in almost every room and four computers and iPods and stereo systems and I realize I've become as bad as everyone else. I'm surrounded by stuff. My husband loves to buy the latest electronic gadgets. And yet in my imagination I picture a cottage in England, walking down the lane with my basket over my arm to buy eggs from the farmer, growing my own veggies, maybe spinning my own yarn, baking bread...it's an ultimate fantasy. Won't ever happen because I'm tied to all this stuff. I can't live without my computer (it's coming to Europe with me tomorrow).
So I don't know what the answer is. There is no way I can get the world to give up money, to trade services instead, to stop buying rubbish and to become craftspeople instead. But I may rent that cottage in England one summer and see how I really like it.