Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ethical consumerism - Save more, live better?

~Lifestyle - Reducing our standard of living. Looking at every possible way to “cut back.” Sharing, blessing, giving. Selflessness. ~

So, I feel a little silly. The other day, at my parents house, Mark was looking up his usual on-line news sites. There was a little news clip that said something about lowering your standard of living. “Cool, can you play that? It’s kind of funny, that I’ve been blogging about it, and here’s a clip on the same sort of thing.” with a bit of a giggle in his voice he said “Jane, the “standard of living” topic is all over the place. That’s kind of the new biggest news coverage stuff.” “Oh, uh, well, okay. That’s what I get for staying home with the kids all day, with no internet, no TV reception and only the tri-county newspaper to keep me up to date.” : )

APPARENTLY, Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock has had this “standard of living” stuff coming at them from all sides. So, if I’ve simply been redundant , in adding to the clamor of abc, nbc, cnn, fox news and all the others out there. I’m sorry. Truly I am. I do, however, hope that, unlike the standard media, I have helped to shed a positive light on this subject. I honestly believe that for the average American to WILLFULLY REDUCE their standard of living would be a really good thing. Not because you have to, not because you’re fearful in the presence of a sickly economy, but because you want to have more. More to share, more to bless with, more to give.

Walmart’s new catch phrase is “save more, live better.” (I like “rollback with a smile” better… why’d they have to go and try to get sophisticated? It’s Walmart for goodness sake!) Anyway - I’m still not sure how I feel about this new catch phrase. If the idea of saving, is cutting back on excessive spending, and the idea of living better is living with a higher commitment to charity;

char·i·ty n
1. organization providing charity: an organization that collects money and other voluntary contributions of help for people in need
2. provision of help: the voluntary provision of money, materials, or help to people in need
3. material help: money, materials, or help voluntarily given to people in need
4. tolerant attitude: the willingness to judge people in a tolerant or favorable way
5. impartial love: the impartial love of other people, especially as a Christian virtue

[12th century. Via French charité < Latin caritas < carus "dear"]
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Then I’m all for it. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what they mean… We can, however, glean from this slogan, and choose to save, in order to live more charitably, better.

I read somewhere (disclaimer- I’m just passing along a rumor, I believe it, but quote me not, and do not consider this your daily history lesson) that the idea of a “standard of living” was concocted by the US government, shortly after the industrial revolution. They realized that the average American no longer needed to work to survive. I suppose that people understood that their government wouldn’t just let them starve or die from exposure. So, the government came up with ways to encourage Americans to continually aim for a higher standard of living.

But, when is enough , enough?

God save us from the American dream!

“There is enough to meet everyone’s need, not everyone’s greed” - Gandhi

Funny how God works. This morning we were watching Veggie Tales “Gideon - tube warrior” and I was so comforted when I heard “pa grape” say to “Larry the cucumber” “Trust Him [God] Gideon, He’ll never let you down.” Now, as I write, I hear Steve Green singing on i-tunes Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.” (This childrens CD is great, “Hide ‘em in your heart” by Steve Green)

I’ll leave you with that.

This concludes “Ethical Consumerism - by Janice Leverenz” Tune in next time to read…

1 comment:

just me. said...

quote from Gandhi... you hippie:)

Thanks for giving your thoughts! Its been great to read them, because I guess I have been under that rock with you.