A Disposible Generation

8:59 AMHeather

When my sisters-in-law were graduating from college and high school in May, I posted an old picture of the girl cousins from the family on FB.  OOPS!  Sweet cousin Ashley was not a fan of the picture that I selected, showing her darling self at a young age.  To even the odds, I then posted an embarrassing picture of myself with my then "new" boyfriend (yup, my future husband).  Ugh, yay, I was rocking the side pony with some lovely neon windshorts and black bike shorts underneath.  Cause, trust me, that IS how we rolled back in 1990.

It was all in good fun, and I enjoyed the many comments about our baby faces and my 80's hair.  But, one comment really has sparked some deep thoughts.  You wouldn't think a side pony would cause me to reflect on life's great truths about our generation.  But, then, you would be wrong. 

Our friend, Nick, asked why I was holding a cool whip container in my hand.  (Yes, bloggy friends--he knew me back then so he was not distracted by my big bangs).  I had brought my new boyfriend up to Dallas to meet the fam, and as always, my sweet Granny sent me back to Baylor with my major comfort food--her homemade mashed potatoes.  This is my Granny who washed and re-used aluminum foil.  This is the Granny who used old butter containers, cool whip containers, and the like.  I seriously had no idea people BOUGHT fancy tupperware for left-overs.  This is the Granny whose house required professional paper shredders to dispose of 800 pounds of paper because the woman clipped newspaper, saved magazines, and kept every handwritten anything someone sent her.

And this short FB conversation about our grandparent's generation who saved everything had me thinking.  Have we become a "disposible" generation?  Not that we ourselves are throw-aways...but are we a generation who throws things away too readily?  Have we lost the sacred ability to treasure and cherish things of value?

Think about it.  As consumers, so much of what we purchase is designed to be thrown away.   And the price of many things has become so cheap that when it breaks down, we just replace it.  My Granny had the same microwave my entire childhood.  She was stunned when we ran out to buy her a small, inexpensive NEW microwave for her room at the nursing home.  Now, many of these items aren't really treasures to pass on for generations.

But what about marriages, friendships, family heirlooms, family photos, family stories, extended family relationships?  Has our "disposible" mentality gone too far?  When things break down or become too cumbersome, do we toss it away?  I am a deeply relational person.  I want to connect heart to heart with people.  But, I am continually frustrated with how our society has become too busy, too plugged in, too distracted to stop and chat over a cup of tea with a neighbor or a friend to really share what's going on in our lives.

INTENTIONAL challenge:  Our recent Disney cruise was amazing for many, many reasons.  But, it wasn't until we arrived back in port and began to disembark that I realized one aspect of the cruise that made it so pleasant and enjoyable.  I looked up and saw a man on his cell phone.  In the real world, that is quite a common scene.  But, on the high seas with limited internet, passengers did not carry cell phones.  Dinner was not interrupted by electronic gadgets.  People just sat and talked and invested in each other.   

Oh that we would start a revolution.  In our own homes, would we return to some of the ways of our grandparents?  Proudly display and cherish and share the treasures from past generations.  Refuse to throw away and discard that which should be treasured and nurtured.  Hang in there for the long haul whenever possible.  Make people more important than possessions or tasks.  I think for myself, I'll start with beginning a new cool whip bowl collection as I ponder my next move.

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