|Graphic by Sarah L.com (shared by Rebecca Somogyi on Facebook)|
We are all consumers. We must consume to meet our needs and stay alive. We need food, shelter, medical care. We need clothing, communication, transportation, education. We need, so we consume.
But our culture is focused on constant consumption, 24/7, without a thought for the cost to others or our planet. The consumer society is self-centered and individualistic, placing value on what we possess, and idolizing those who indulge themselves in luxury and waste. We have created a short-term, throwaway culture.
We also consume time, that precious, limited, God-given resource. We waste a ton of it, mindlessly watching TV, playing video games, and scrolling through social media. We squeeze most of the rest of it, priding ourselves on our busyness, gaining self-esteem by imagining we are indispensable because our calendars are crammed. We shortchange necessities like relationships, creativity, and sleep in favor of our go-go time consumption.
Our use of time has become a great divider, according to Ruth Valerio, author of L is for Lifestyle: Christian Living That Doesn't Cost the Earth. There are those who spend time to save money, and others who spend money to save time (so they can make more money). Our culture is heavily invested in the latter, encouraging us to buy more smart devices and even hire people to fill our grocery carts. The fact that we become chained to our jobs in order to afford the time-savers seems to escape our notice. With that mindset, we'll be chronically short of time forever.