My grandmother was part of the Greatest Generation. Her growing up years encompassed two World Wars and the Depression. It changed her way of thinking in ways that we have never experienced. She knew what it was like to do without. She knew what it was like to be a good steward of her resources. She saved her tinfoil. I bet you’re smiling right now because your grandmother did the same thing! Mine would wash it, dry it, fold it and keep it in a special drawer. I always found this to be so funny. Why do you do that? Why don’t you throw it away and get some new tinfoil? I would laughingly ask her. She would reply, because it’s still good.
Our society has forgotten the concept of it’s still good. Our culture encourages us to forget this with its multimedia blast of advertisements and infinite choices of bigger, better, faster and prettier. We replace things that can be fixed, because it takes more time to fix them. We replace things that aren’t broken, because they are newer and better. We buy multiples of things we already have, because we can. Marketing strategies adroitly seduce us into thinking it will make us happier to have that next best thing and that…..we deserve to have it. We are all about recycling as long as someone else gets the benefit of our cast offs. Obviously I am talking about material stuff here…but I happen to think that mindset bleeds into our relationships. It’s much easier to give up than fix it. It is easier to replace it and get a newer model? We are not always satisfied with one, when we can have two…or more. We are on the road to Happy Me because we are entitled. We are being schooled every single day not to be committed to our stuff…or our relationships. Everything is becoming disposable.
The younger generations have been indoctrinated with the sparkle and if we are not careful, we will be persuaded as well. We are all becoming way too desensitized to this new normal. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. We can remember the tinfoil. We have to help those coming along behind to understand and desire the art of fixing something that gets broken, not replacing it for something new and momentarily exciting. We have to help them believe it’s SO worth it because it is still good. By the way, according to Tom Brokaw in his book entitled The Greatest Generation, he wrote: ” For better or for worse–it was the last generation in which, broadly speaking, marriage was a commitment and divorce was not an option”. I am sensing a connection here. It’s all about the tinfoil!