Monday, March 31, 2008

The Story of (MY) Stuff

One of my new online/bloggy/knitting friends KnittingLoca shared a video with a few of us on Ravelry called The Story of Stuff. It's a pretty amazing and very convicting video on consumption and consumerism. I've been mentally dealing with what I saw and how to digest it as a Christian, and I'm far from real answers and solutions, but I definitely see my place in here somewhere. I'm one of the first people to tout living a simple life, and I have taken some small measures to help some of my impact on my family's life and our so-called carbon footprint (Hunny just flinched that I wrote that phrase down!). Well, really, I have thought about taking those measures... but it often seems like the things I do don't matter, or that it's not enough, and sometimes, honestly, I want what I want, which includes disposable, expensive, and often irrelevant items. How do you marry a desire to make a difference in the environment, a duty to love your neighbor, and take care of your family within your means? These are some of the questions that I am dealing with after watching the film. I had this immediate want to de-stuff (can I coin this phrase?) in my house and in my life. It's one thing to cloth diaper part-time, but what about biting the bullet and cloth diapering at night, despite its percieved inconvenience to me? Or, perhaps, to convince Hunny to use the new lower-electric light bulbs? (And let me just tell you, those of you who are fortunate enough to live in a city with more than one utility company--count your blessings right now!) Seriously, though... our society is one that is really geared for immediate gratification and consumption/disposal. I grew up poor, and I tend to want things to validate my social worth as a person. It's easy to feel badly if I am not wearing the latests and greatest, and yet there are many times I don't even really want the latest fashions, I just want the acceptance from my peers. This points to the crux of the problem on both the consumer level as the video shows, but also on a spiritual level, because I'm seeking validation outside of my identity as a daughter of Christ. He even tells the rich young ruler to get rid of all his possessions. It's amazing how many people like to skip this passage in the Bible. Anyway, I know I'm rambling, and all over the place, but I'm just starting a dialogue with myself (should that be a monologue?) about what I need to do to truly be a good steward of both the grace I've been given as a Christian and beloved of Christ's as well as with the things he has given me.
I will probably be readressing this issue as I pursue this a little more and either find or test out my need to de-stuff.


Knittingloca said...

HEY! Thanks for the link...hehe...The Story of Stuff really upset me - especially the part about how in the 50's, those that were starting this whole consumerism push were intentionally making stuff that would break or need replacing. I have always been suspicious of gov't and corporations,and this really left me feeling...betrayed.

As a Christian, I feel even stronger lately about being a better steward...and....I would love to get a personal dialogue going with you to discuss further.

I am on a mission to de-stuff, as well...I'll let you in on that one!

It's no wonder this country is the way it is - consumerism, materialism, did you realize when the average national happiness started going down in the 50's - it's also when they started taking prayer out of schools. Coincidence? No.

I'll catch ya later!


Mari said...

On the de-stuffing bandwagon myself, with three little ones it's quite a challenge. Being a SAHM is complex.

I often wonder if Jesus is as concerned with the things I'm concerned with each day such as clutter, cleanliness, sticking to a schedule, feeding my kids too many chicken nuggets, or is that Satan's way of distracting me from the truly important?