Culture of Excess

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Back Porch Sitting

The more I take in the world around me, the violent tragedies, the broken families, the crashing economy, the rapid growth of obesity, diseases, etc. the more I realize that our society is creating our own future doom because of our culture of excess.

Culture of excess… what do I mean by this?  It’s quite simple, we do too much, we spend too much, we eat too much.  We pay little attention to the things that matter and lots of attention to the things that don’t- which results in the society we have created today.

Please know that the examples I give below are general and are no reflection of one specific person, there are plenty of things I need to work on with this as well.

I see much of this first hand in families today.  I know I am not a parent yet, so I realize there are many things to learn yet about that world and the challenges it brings.  However, I was a nanny for several different families for almost a decade.  I am not just talking babysitting for a parents night out, I am talking full on almost 24-7 childcare.  I adored every single family in different ways.  Want to know what I noticed the most?  Parents or myself constantly running from one thing to the next.  School, dance practice, piano lessons, basketball practice, agility camp etc.  Meanwhile you have the majority of parents that work now right?  So usually they come home after an exhausting day of work and then continue to rush their kids around to a million different things until they have to rush them to bed to do it all over again the next day.   This usually results in McDonald’s for dinner and perhaps a lot of meltdowns or yelling at each other because you are all tired, and have had no time to decompress the day.   So you can’t blame anybody for feeling agitated.  Often times I see discipline is the first thing that goes out the door, which is a crucial part of parenthood that should NOT be ignored just because there is no time or energy for it.  I get it, we want our kids to have all the opportunities in the world, to be the best they can be, to have more than we did and not to mention EVERY other kid is involved in all of these things right?  But there are serious consequences of that.  If we are too busy to teach our children manners, respect, discuss the world with them, ask about their day, teach them about serving others, allow them time to reflect, decompress, cope with issues, or heck just allow them time to be kids…they will have serious  problems functioning well into adulthood.

Picture 002More time to sit and read the Sunday paper

Many of our younger generations have serious issues dealing with life and with their emotions.  I see this at the high school and college level…A LOT.  When they have a conflict at school, with a friend, do poorly in a competition, it seems that they have serious trouble knowing how to handle it, how to deal with their feelings.  Why?  Because we never give them a chance to. They barely have time to breathe, yet alone deal with their emotions.

This is not just for people with families,  In general I think we are too busy.  Lord knows I am extremely guilty of that.  I had a really pivotal moment a few weeks ago that made this all come to a crashing halt for me. I was driving home from AU, on my way to train some clients and of course I was running a little behind.  I had all these things on my mind of what I needed to do, homework, laundry, pick up Wyatt’s medicine, get groceries, return that friends phone call, etc.  You know how it is, the list goes on and on and I don’t even have a family yet!  As I am driving down a side street I notice an elderly man trying to get his dog who seemed to have ran out of the house.  The dog was trying to play and run around with him but the older man was very growing very frustrated and could not keep up.  He kept calling the dog to come back and would get so close and the dog would run away again.  I could tell the man was not very mobile and was really struggling.  A very clear voice in my head said “Get out and help him.” but then another voice said “But I’m already late, he will be fine right?”.  Needless to say I did not get out and help him and man did God wrestle with me on this one.   My guilt tore me apart for weeks.  Am I really too busy to be a good citizen?  To help somebody out?  If I am too busy to do my due diligence as human being, something needs to change. That is NOT acceptable.  I have serious changes to make.

 

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More time to snuggle with my pup

Being busy has become a societal norm.  It is one of the reasons fast food and processed food have reaped havoc on our health.  Nobody has time to cook.  We are too busy to think about our spending, and end up with a house full of crap we don’t need and credit card debt high enough to feed a starving small country.   We are even too busy to deal with our emotions,  so we bottle them up and then wonder why later our lives seem to be falling apart.

This culture of excess MUST stop.  We have to take control.  Control of our finances, control of our health, control of our families, control of our minds.  Maybe that means we can’t do everything, or be everything to everybody.  Maybe that means we can’t be the best.   But that’s okay.  Because in the end, we wont be so busy that we miss that man you pass by that needs help or miss precious time with our family.  We will be happier people, better citizens and in turn, put this world back on the track it was meant to be on.

 

 

 

 

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