Recycle, Reduce, Reuse... Rethink?
Many people who care about creation are into the three R's. Recycle, reduce, reuse. But I find I've had to concentrate on a fourth one... "rethink."
Mostly, I realize that much of my thinking has been molded by advertising and societal views of what is cool, fulfilling, and rewarding. This affects even the simplest areas of life.
Take food, for example. My TV shows a woman using Hamburger Helper (food in a box, which is not good for my family, and is also a source of consumer waste). This woman is smiling because she has made her family happy (so says the commercial). And all this, without stooping to the indignity of creating a meal from scratch (or perhaps wasting "precious" time).
It is a strong message: you can make your family happy without degrading yourself, or without effort.
Is it true? Will food in a box make my family happy and healthy? Have I escaped some kind of drudge work that would suggest I'm less-than-important if I did the work? I'm not saying that I never cook anything out of a box, but I've had to rethink... what is it that truly brings health, happiness, and meaning? Is life really like the commercials say?
If life is not like the commercials say, then maybe convenience is not a primary value, nor effortlessness, nor throwing away the old for the new, nor buying the new to create happiness. And maybe my role in my family is not entertainer, but Guide and Mentor and Nurturer.
Photo by Gail Nadeau. Used with permission.