Ponderings by Doug

We live in a “throwaway” culture.

We throw away just about everything. 

Not that we haven’t noticed. We’ve been using this expression since LIFE magazine published an article in 1955 about a new phenomenon that emerged in the prosperity of the 1950s. “Throwaway Living” the article was called.

Instead of blowing our noses using washable handkerchiefs (as did our eco-friendly grandmothers), we use tissues and throw them away.

We diaper babies’ bottoms, and then throw them away — the diapers, not the bottoms.

We buy a pair of shoes and throw them away.

We buy water packaged in plastic bottles, drink the water — and throw the bottles away.

Almost everything we purchase comes in what many call excessive packaging which … is thrown away. If in fact, you can get into these excessively protective plastic packages. Last week it took two pair of scissors and my wire cutters to open the “plastic package” in which the new scissors were located. Who oversees this crazy world?

We buy small and large appliances and when they break down, we buy new ones and throw away the old ones.

We buy TVs and throw them away.

In an era long past, small shops existed to repair items that consumers were then loath to throw away. Used to be that a small repair shop could provide a modest income. You could get your TVs, toasters, radios and irons repaired for a small charge and they were good to go.

The archetype for such small businesses is Emmett’s Fix-It Shop in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, as depicted on the 1960s television series “The Andy Griffith Show.” Emmett Clark fixed clocks, lamps, radios and more. These shops, for the most part, have disappeared.

We don’t fix things; we toss them out. Our throwaway culture involves more than antiquated electronics

We also throw away friendships, values, traditions, manners, decency, and common sense. Some might say that we too often throw away our souls in pursuit of some elusive dream we hold dear. We cast aside the spiritual component of our lives thinking, perhaps, that we will focus on spirituality later. 

Then, one morning, we wake up wondering who we are and where we’ve been and where our life has taken us. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans,” according to Beatles legend John Lennon.

Whatever you want to call it, we sense down deep that something is wrong. Something is broken. Something is in desperate need of fixing.

Good thing, God is in the repair business!