You’ve all seen it.
It comes in hundreds of colors, shapes sizes, and has tons of different uses. Some people buy it to feel better while others buy it because they think they need to keep up with the trends of today.
Kids need it and can’t live without it. We train our babies also to want it.
But what are we doing to ourselves?
In an attempt to be technologically savvy and rock the latest espadrilles or sports cars, we have become a nation consumed by STUFF.
Yes – “Stuff” is the Stuff we just can’t live without.
Most Americans I know have been raised to consume, consume and consume without ever understanding what our consumerism is doing to other developing nations, not to mention what it is doing to our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Why do I need the bigger better, fatter, most expensive, 90210 pair of shoes every couple of months just because Hollywood says so????
Who is Hollywood anyway and why are they dictating what brand of lingerie and what type of jeans I need to wear to be fashionable or part of the in-crowd?
I am tired of the junk we are pushed into thinking we can’t live without.
Instead of worrying about stuff and trying to fit in with everyone else’s stuff, why not revolutionize our world with one random act of kindness at a time. Don’t buy for yourself all the time, instead find a person or family in need and buy for them. Maybe it is a single mom who can’t afford a new pair of shoes for her little one. Don’t just walk past consumed in your bubble.
Even in our own homes. Do we really need 32 pairs of shoes and 12 purses to match each shade of our shoe collections? Do our husbands and kids need to have the latest X-box, Wii, and Nintendo thing-a-ma-jigs each time they are released?
I hate to break it to ya- but News Flash – When we die our stuff ain’t going wid us. So for the love of our planet, God, our health, and those poor factory workers all around the world; TAKE A STAND WITH ME – WILL YA!!!
Make it a point to do something unconventional every week. I personally enjoyed having people including well-meaning friends and family make cracks on my 4 yr old phone that I refused to stop using until it was completely broken. I used it for the past two years on speakerphone because I could no longer hear sounds out of the earpiece. It was really funny all the looks I would get at school, the store, and in line, because people assumed I was doing it on purpose.
Finally, my phone broke and I was blessed to receive a new one as a gift which I will use until it too does not function anymore, not when a new upgrade comes out. Not rushing out to spend hundreds of dollars on a new phone is absolutely liberating, to say the least.
Many years ago it took me a lot of time in thought and prayer to come to the realization that stuff is just stuff, not a definition of who I am or what I am worth. I struggled when I was younger with wanting to look and perform in a way that was perfect and I had to spend some time unwinding those thoughts patterns and accepting that my value comes from my creator not from how I look, how much I have or how well I can perform at something.
This is a topic that has escaped from the modern-day world. Again, in our attempt to be beautiful, fashionable, and sexy, we have forgotten about loving our neighbor as ourselves.
But we don’t know how to love ourselves because we have been taught to love stuff because stuff will make us feel better and it will help define who we are.
Stuff hurts more than it does good and in the end, stuff will just end up in the garbage along with my hard-earned money.
So will you join me in taking a stand against STUFF? We can all do something to go against the grain that society has established for us. In the simplest way, we can be a feather ruffler for the fashion and stuff industry. We can wear our clothes over and over again every week or month. We can use one or two pairs of shoes with every outfit as well. If someone catches on and asks us what’s going we can say we’re tired of stuff and we’re taking a stand against it.
It breaks my heart to see so many young women consumed by stuff. Instead of searching for what is important in life, they are consumed by all the stuff they have and are going to buy so that they can be regarded as beautiful, cool, or modern. Some of these women are really hungry inside and they may feel a certain emptiness that their stuff promises to fill. But the sad truth is that we can own the biggest home and all the fashionable clothes and cars and still be broken and empty inside. Just look at Hollywood or pick up a magazine at the checkout in your grocery store. Magazines are permeated with tons of stories that share the same common denominator – people, very wealthy people with all the stuff in the world still feel hurt, worthless, and empty inside. Often these feelings lead many to life-altering addictions. I don’t know about you but I don’t want my children to grow up thinking that stuff or what they have is a definition of who they are because it’s not.
If we all start doing little things and expose the nasty lies behind hoarding stuff we will and can make a difference to liberate the many souls who are victims of the “More Stuff is Better Mentality”.
Here are just a few ideas on how you can take a stand:
1 – Kids birthday coming up? Don’t buy them the latest stuff. Instead opt to take them to watch a character-building movie, visit a local strawberry farm and pick your own strawberries, visit a planetarium, have a picnic at the beach, and take turns creating treasures in the sand with shells.
Show your kids you love them not by what you buy them but, by the time, love, and effort you spend every day investing in their emotional and spiritual bank accounts. And if you really want to make a difference, host a birthday party and instead of gifts collect cash donations for a needy single mom or a poor family in a developing nation. On Guidestar or Charity Navigator, you can easily find a reputable non-profit where your donation will be used wisely.
2- Anniversary coming up? Skip the diamonds and take a vacation to a remote fishing village if you’re into fishing and enjoy a meal the old-fashioned way by catching your fish and then grilling it yourself seaside while embracing the beauty of God’s blue creation. Why not buy edible plants for every year you have been together and present them to your spouse as their gift so you both can plant your own garden as a sign of your love? Emailing your spouse a virtual gift certificate with lots of discounts and coupons is also a great way to avoid purchasing a card. You can easily type up your ideas on Microsoft Word and then turn them into a PDF online for free. Email the document to your spouse telling him or her that they can use any of the coupons and or discounts for different things. This activity can actually get to be a lot of fun if you put your heart into it.
Want to have an enriching experience? Volunteer as a couple to feed the homeless or hand out blankets to families living on the street. Sign up for a mission trip to a country of your interest. Trips can often run a weekend for up to several weeks. A great place to check for trips is Short Term Missions, where you can search by region and length of time.
3- Planning a corporate Holiday or Christmas Luncheon. Do what I did and put your staff to work instead. Don’t overspend, in the end, they will still complain about it. I found that one of the most rewarding staff luncheons I planned was just a simple inexpensive lunch and then I directed all the staff to go out into the community and deliver much-needed items like food, money for groceries, and shoes for homeless families. They really enjoyed it and still talk about it with the new employees.
4- Do you have a pair of shoes that has a hole in the bottom and are scuffed? Don’t toss them. Instead, get the hole repaired for about 5 to 10 bucks and wipe them down to keep using.
5- Got a dress you don’t wear or is too big. Grab your scissors and make it into a scarf or shawl. Recently with the help of my dear mother-in-law, I designed a lovely shawl from a long maternity dress. It was sowed together on a used sewing machine I purchased online for ¼ of the cost. I use this super long cotton shawl when I am out and need to nurse. It’s fashionable and costs nothing extra.
6- Does your child have to do a class project? Use things in your own home and make it a point to not buy anything for the project. Only use what you have already. We did an entire solar system by using a recycled box and crumbled up wads of paper. We then colored them and adjusted their size and glued them onto the box. The end result was a beautiful upcycled solar system we did use all green recycled items. We do this all the time. The very last project my son had to do was on history and we used toothpicks and made picket signs with recycled papers to make a pop-up poster board using the cover of a large shoebox.
7. Is there a young man or woman who seems lost in their stuff and spiraling down? Make it a point to offer your counsel, prayers, and support. There are so many young people who don’t have a mom or dad at home right now to teach them good Godly values about modesty, contentment, love, etc. Maybe you will be the only voice of hope they hear. Even if they don’t have a problem with stuff, our youth is struggling these days with so much pressure and enticing options that faithful committed concerned people must step up to the plate and lend a helping hand to a dying world.
The possibilities are endless.