Friday, November 30, 2012

american way of life

I can't count the number of times I've been thanked my service. They tell me I'm serving their country, protecting their freedoms...freedom to worship, freedom to vote for rich white businessmen, freedom to curse me out in public, etc. What I didn't realize was that for the most part, they didn't know what they were saying. The only freedom people are really thankful for is the freedom of selfishness. I don't think Americans really care about the principles our nation was founded on and the ideals we ostensibly preserve. Just pull someone off the street and ask if they would rather keep their voting rights or their Iphone and you'll see.

When Angelica and I went to help out some Sandy victims, it felt so similar to New Orleans 7 years ago. The physical destruction was not as bad, but the amount of property damage was the same. At times, "hurricane relief" evolved into "spring cleaning." From each house we hauled out load after endless load of waterlogged toys, tools, and shards of a happier life. We used wheelbarrows, hand trucks, garbage cans—whatever we could findto shuttle destroyed belongings from the house to the street. Complete basements were cleared out. You could look at the truckloads of now-worthless junk on the sidewalk and wonder how it all ever fit inside those closets and garage cabinets. And we couldn't help wonder, why do we have so much stuff?

Why are we so materialistic?

Somehow, living in the land of the free has groomed an addiction to possess. I don't fight for liberty or for justice. I pursue material happiness and fight for the freedom to spend my next paycheck on whatever ephemeral pleasure I can cover with flood insurance.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  ~Matthew 6:19

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