What Will We Choose?

In the quiet moments of our minds it is entertaining to listen to some of the thoughts that bounce in and out of our consciousness. Lately, I doubt if there is one among us who cannot find thoughts of economy, debt or loss of jobs. You cannot turn on a television or radio without hearing the words, and when you have turned your TV off, if you are anything like me, your brain picks up where the newscaster left off.

I believe we have been asked to look at the way we have lived life unconsciously for so long, and begin to analyze if the patterns we have found ourselves stuck in, are indeed that beneficial to our current lives. I find it interesting that we see the bigger stores now laying off staff in large numbers. Could it be that our love of shopping and collecting "things” cannot any longer be maintained? Are we being called to ask ourselves if we have reached the stage of "enough” yet? It seems that once we started down the road where we just had to have the latest thing, it may have cost us a lot more than we realized. Were those things really worth the loss of family time? The more we had to buy things, the more of our family life seemed to be taken away. Of course this is only my opinion brought about by my own wandering thoughts, but it certainly has been popping into my mind a lot during the current crisis. Once both partners had to work to meet payments, some of the valuable moments were lost. This is not meant as an indictment of those of us who work, simply a looking back on what we lost as we fell into the consumer role. There were certainly perks, but did we ever look back at what we were giving up? And…did we wonder where we could go from here?

Perhaps when we went the way of the big box stores and instant credit, we were blinded by all the choices we had, and did not stop to ask ourselves if we really needed all of it. We did not, perhaps, properly consider what the cost would be to the planet if we continued down the road of too much. Most of us have way more than we need; some of us even have way more than we can afford, and in order to have this excess, we have given up precious moments of sharing with people we enjoy. At this point in time, it seems the whole world has come to a crunch where unless people spend, our economy will fall apart. We now have huge houses and two cars, and when you think back to what our grandparents had, it can certainly seem daunting. Maybe we don’t need as much. Maybe we could all make due with less, as scary as that can sound. And maybe just maybe, we are going to have to.

I am from the generation that can remember what it was like to have one parent at home and to have time with them. Fast food was rare, and homemade meals were the norm…. with the vegetables usually raised in our own garden. We had time to cultivate food and to enjoy it. It was not something we thought of as we drove through and bolted it down on the way to the next event. Having lived through both eras, I can see there are positives and negatives to both. Maybe now we are being asked to choose.