Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stuff vs. Human Worth

So Friday afternoon I spent about an hour at one of the local libraries. I had dropped my brother off at the college, and had a couple of hours to kill. After a brief foray into the local mall that left me more than slightly flabbergasted at society, I sat down with my notebook that I write ideas down in and started pouring my thoughts out. These are some of the thoughts in a, hopefully, more coherent form.

I started out jotting down thoughts about empowering women. I don't want it to be just about women helping women, it some how needs to be about empowering women and the world. Letting people see and become aware that they are capable of so much MORE.

Do most people really want to do/be more? Are people content with how life is? Spending their money on excess clothes, designer clothes, designer sunglasses, the latest gadgets, the shiniest car, on THINGS?

I mean, I guess "stuff" isn't really the problem. It is the love and pride in stuff that so many people have. Putting "stuff" above all else, making it your idol. Somehow we have become a prideful society, yet we seem to have no pride in ourselves. We walk about in our pajamas, or half naked, not actually comprehending our truly divine nature. Who of us isn't guilty of going to Wal-Mart, or any grocery store, in the same raiment we slept in? I know I have. I'm not ashamed to be seen that way, but at the same time am I really portraying who I really am in the most flattering light? I will tell you I am the last person to care what people think about me, but at the same time I do care what I think about myself, and how I feel. And I can tell you, I don't feel that great when I go out in my basketball shorts and baggy shirt. Sure, my body is physically comfortable, but my body is also physically comfortable clothing that doesn't look like I just rolled out of bed, because well I did just roll out of bed.

What happened to the days where people took pride in themselves and the things they did? Not boasting about it, but actually doing things that mattered. Today, we spend endless time, money, and effort on stuff, producing new stuff, buying new stuff, replacing our perfectly useful stuff with the newest, most updated version of that exact same stuff. And what do we do with that old stuff? We throw it away. We throw away perfectly useful stuff simply because there is a newer, slightly faster model.

And so it goes, an endless cycle of new stuff replacing the old. Already this mindset seems to be seeping deeper and deeper into our very beings. No longer do we take the time and effort to try and fix something that is broken. Instead we just get a new one. You broke your toy? That's okay, we will buy you a better one. Lost your favorite stuff animal? No worries, we will get you a bigger one! While this may not seem that disastrous, I believe it is seeping into how we view the sanctity of life. Your dog is not so young anymore? No big deal, take it to the pound and go get yourself a cute new puppy! Oh no, your puppy got hit by a car? Well, let's just replace it with a new one right now!

Even deeper it goes, until it seems that many are losing bits and pieces of their humanity. Since we only value the shiny new pretty stuff, who is going to stop and help that beggar when he is suddenly struck down? Who is going to take care of the elderly when they can no longer take care of themselves? Instead, we walk around these elderly and beggars with this attitude and belief that things that aren't shiny and pretty are just not worth are time to save. Somehow, we only value human life if it fits into the socially mandated acceptable criteria of being sparkly and important.

Lest you think I am some sort of fear monger, here is one such example of an experiment showing this very thing happening.

What was the difference here? It looks to be about the same location, presumably within the same time period, maybe not the same day, but probably the same week. The only visible difference is the appearance of the individual asking for help. The "shiny updated version" is saved, while the other is ignored and tossed out.

Parts of this probably seem slightly contradictory.Take pride in yourself, but don't buy fancy clothes? Don't wear your pajamas out in public, but help those who do? For me I think that we need to present ourselves in a manner that helps our natural self shine through. Wearing pajamas, to class, to the grocery store, etc. in my opinion distracts from that. I guess for me I feel like our society has come to the point where people's worth is judged more on the gadgets, technology, and "stuff" that they have, rather than the fact that we are all people and we all have worth. Since I believe that we all have divinely given worth and value, I believe that we should be aware of that and present ourselves in a way that shows we respect and appreciate that.

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