Friday, March 10, 2017

Missing the Forest for the Trees

One generation often finds understanding another difficult. We would like to have an objective standard that all would accept but it doesn't exist. A mother writing in a diocesan bulletin expresses her feelings in an area of life that needs to change but society is so intertwined, integrated with so many other areas that changing one thing changes everything.  

The writer mentions watching her grandson and the animation cartoon he was viewing on TV. She saw enough of the cartoon to get the story line. Her six-year-old grandchild was watching an animated video of the destruction of the earth because of pollution in 30 years. The starring characters were going back in time in their mini cars to prevent this from happening. These mini cars are 'Turning Mecard'  which transform into a toy robot. There are a whole series of them produced by the toy company.

The grandmother saw a number of these mini cars in the child's room and reprimanded her daughter for buying so many. The daughter told her mother that if her son doesn't keep up with the latest mini car he is not accepted by his friends, bullied and made fun of. So the mother's love for her child demands that she keep up with the latest mini car.

The grandmother doesn't understand why the society allows this to happen. When a new car comes out the mothers line up before the store from early in the morning to make sure they are able to buy the new car in the series before they sell out. The company also has videos with the cars tempting the children to buy them.

The cars are no bigger than a child's hand but cost more than 20 dollars. These toddlers are little angels, raised in a materialistic world with little else besides what they see with their eyes. Children should be given dreams and thoughts at this early age that will not disappear as they grow older.

She remembers lying on mats out side her house on warm evenings looking up at the sky. In her day they had no toys but they had fun finding things to do. Going to the river banks and catching small fish and putting them in jars. Parents need to have their children become acquainted with nature. She mentions the many things that the children can do to give them memories that will last a lifetime.

The toy company was having financial difficulty, losing money for a number of years and this was turned around with these mini cars. This is good for the economy. Consumerism, however,  takes the mind off the more important things in life and reduces happiness to acquisition of material goods.

Without a change in our thinking and the system in which we live, parents and all the citizens will be living with this dilemma for many years to come.