I’m so very excited that it’s almost Thanksgiving. Since my grandfather passed a few years ago we try to go down to the beach house we frequent at Kitty Hawk instead of to my grandma’s place in Farmville, VA.
It was last year while down at the beach that I read a few books on anti-consumerism and decided to not buy anything new for a year if I could except a)delicates and bedding (because that would be gross) and b)food and gasoline, because that would be pretty much impossible. Everything else I bought second-hand, was given, or was rescued off of the mean curbs of Cary on trash day.
I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since this change of behavior began. Judith Levine, author of Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping is correct in that at first it seems impossible and you miss it in an odd way. If anything the past eleven months have shown what a bizarre opiate consumerism is for many of us, myself included.
Tonight as I’m trying to shut my mind down with all of the work left not quite finished for tomorrow I was reading some thoughts from the book Mother Theresa: In My Own Words. She was giving, yes, but she was always very matter-of-fact that people were not to donate their leftovers to the poor. For Mother Theresa it was key to have the right mindset, one of solidarity and of equality with the poor. As much as I hate to admit it I still have much work to do to get there this upcoming year.
On the poor, she said this:
“I think that the work of the Church in this developed and rich Western Hemisphere is more difficult than in Calcutta, South Yemen or other areas where the needs of the people are reduced to the clothes needed to ward off the cold, or a dish of rice to curb their hunger — anything that will show them that someone loves them. In the West the problems that people have go much deeper; the problems are in the depths of their hearts.”