Thursday, March 1, 2018

Disposability Easily Achieved

Disposable single-use items are part of our life.  Paper cups, chopsticks, plastic bags, coffee packets and hundreds of other items are used and disposed of daily. Bad for the environment and may not be good for the psyche?

A religious sister in an article in the Kyeongyang magazine begins telling the readers of her friendship with her laptop computer. She knew everything about it having used it for 10 years. When it finally gave up the ghost it was no big problem but she was sad and distressed; it was a friend.

This was not only true with the laptop but also with other articles in her possession: the plastic comb and mirror had been with her for about 30 years; the comb had lost some of the teeth and the mirror was broken at the edges but they were friends. A number of times while shopping she looked for replacements but nothing appealed to her. She decided that she would keep them for as long as they could do what they were meant to do.

One-time-use items used again will make that product more useful than normal. When a product is used profitably for a period of time the product is more than just something used but it has a relationship with the user. We live in a disposable society. A throwaway society can make us think all is disposable.

Adam in Gen. 2: 19 gave a name to all that God created and made them special. This makes it possible to call them by name. If we could give a name to all that is created the relationship we would have would be quite different. Our world would be different. 

We have a surfeit of disposable products in use. The danger is always present to see our fired workers,  our young unemployed people as just so many expendables.

Some years ago the Sister remembers an apartment that was being renovated that surrounded their convent. Coming into a new apartment much of the furniture was discarded and the sisters had a great time furnishing their convent with the discarded furniture—still in use.

As we continue to throw away cheap one time used products is it possible that we begin to see our fellow human beings as throwaways and expendables? When we start seeing everything we touch as valued, life in all its forms, all the products we touch is that not a kind of prayer, an expression of love and worship of God. It may be seen as insignificant but in God's providence a way of returning vitality to the world.

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