Saturday, September 26, 2015

Gadget Goodies 34 - You Got What?

image used under Creative Commons license, 
photo by Jeremy Keith, from Flickr
OK.  Monday's post on the Bill's Musings blog didn't end up being as promised. We barely got started, thanks to a very interesting topic. When we left off, last time, we mentioned a spiritual side to handling our tech lives. Indeed, life itself. The spiritual side, no matter what we take it to be or how we allow it into our lives, will always have an effect.

For those who don't read our other blog, I'm an evangelical Christian.  Monday, we discussed Ephesians 5:1 and, in particular, the phrase "followers of God" as a continuation of a thought started in "Gadget Goodies 33", here.. If you missed last Monday's post and want to read it,  it's here: Followers of God.  It's worth reading. And for further background there's our latest LifeNote, here: Full or Hungry?.  But what we share today goes beyond any particular philosophical, religious, or spiritual view.  Take a look.

If you've been following my posts on Bill's Musings, you know that I'm not only an evangelical Christian, but considering the international mission field.  And that got me thinking about downsizing.  Or, more precisely, what many of us in places like the US have, compared to what we need.  And, maybe more to the point, compared to much of the rest of the world.

I don't think I'm drastically different from much of the rest of the population, particularly the techies. When something new comes out, with great added features, I'm at least looking at it, possibly buying it.  Because we have a mentality that's driven by marketing.  More is better, wants are made to seem like desires, desires are made to seem like needs, newer and more features are essential, whether we really are going to use them or not.

It's a particularly first world attitude.  Here in the Baltimore area, there's a furniture chain that just started running a TV ad that's very telling.  It shows a young lady coming home from what's obviously a typical shopping trip, loaded down with bags.  She realizes she's already run out of room for it all.  The solution, of course, is buying a matching bedroom set from the furniture chain -- two large dressers with lots of drawers, a bedside table with several more drawers, and a large platform with more large drawers in the platform.

The final scene of that commercial shows the girl sitting on the end of her new bed, saying "Now, I can get more stuff.".  Wow!  The mindset isn't that she can't possibly use everything she's bought. It's find a way to store it, anyway, and get more, whether you're going to ever use it or not.  It's a mindset that thrives in places like North America, Europe, some of Latin America, and parts of Asia.

Watches, jewelry, cellphones all seem to be things that either third parties plate in gold and resell at a much higher than normal price or there's Vertu and others, whose offerings are initially aimed at those willing to spend a lot for something that screams "I can afford this.".  An article I read suggested that, at the average cost it took to feed someone, the latest Vertu offering could feed 84 people for a month.  I'd suggest that, in parts of the world, that might be 84 whole families.

I don't think any of us think of buyers of Vertu, Rolls Royce, the fashion lines worn by the stars, etc. as buying them for humanitarian reasons.  And that's OK.  Even the Bible is clear that it's not our having money or possessions that creates the problem.  The issue is our focus and attitude toward them.  The shift in outlook effects how we see and deal with everything around us.  And how we deal with our world causes its own shift in outlook toward wealth and goods.  Those seem like better topics for Bill's Musings.  So, we'll continue there, on Monday.  In the meantime, how are your attitudes towards money and possessions?  Do those things control even some of your thinking? Or does your thinking control how you handle them?

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