The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other


December First: an appropriate day for a first snowfall.

Discretionary spending. Disposable income. However you frame it, the truth is people are regarded by how loose they can be with cash. VH1's "The Fabulous Life of..." preys on our desire to know how much money a celebrity can waste on what how quickly. But it's not just money. It's what can be wasted.

Think about it. The longer the limo, the bigger the jet, the more the square footage, the farther the destination. You have these big long limos for one, maybe two people. H2s waste $2.15 a gallon every 6 miles. Houses run 3000 sq ft on average anymore and most of that is spacious and uncluttered because that's the lap of luxury. And the more you have of it, the more respect you supposedly have.

Can you spend $100 on a bottle of wine? Why? Can you purchase a $100k Mercedes instead of a $30k Chrysler? Why? Can you get the $700 hotel room over the $200 one, or the one for $139? Can you take up more room in First Class? Does your estate "sprawl" or is the driveway less 100 yards long?

I don't mean to be cynical. Everyone values different things. But why do we value wasting things? Why do we throw out what works for what's newer?

Because you can. I know.

I just wonder that with how much of our lives are spent at work getting ahead and making more money spent on newer things, to be able to drive happiness off the lot or push it in a shopping cart out to the car, I just wonder if we'll reach the end of our lives and realize we've wasted something more valuable.

We'll be living in these uncluttered houses with all our old junk in the basement or in a landfill. All those hours of our lives we spent working to buy things in that landfill. We'll be parking our happiness in the garage or playing it on HDTV for two days after Christmas. But, we'll know somehow that all the happiness we've decorated our homes with and discarded in our landfills doesn't really represent how happy our lives have been. It will only be a testament to our ability to make seemingly equitable trades, to give what we have for what we want.

And if you do the math, you'll find that we've spent—wasted—our lives.