Recently a family emergency brought me face-to-face with a (apparently growing) philosophy that it is better to throw things away than to fix them. I am not talking about a broken microwave, lawnmower, or dishwasher. We all know about that. No, I am talking about throwing away our relationships, our lives, our healthcare and school systems, and our government. I am talking about the philosophy that it is all broken–so throw it all away.
What I have come to realize is I don’t agree with this disposable viewpoint. Maybe it is all those years of hearing my grandmother say, “Don’t throw the dishes out with the dishwater.” I simply don’t agree that the solution to our problems is to hoard supplies in our basements and closets. I don’t agree that things are so badly broken we lack the power and knowledge to fix them. Rather, I believe in the power of activism and the strength of the gifts God gave us.
I am not naive. I do realize that it appears that (once again) big business and the power elite are beating down the little guy. I saw what happened to the uprisings against wars, the stand in Tianamen Square, the outpouring of disgust with Wall Street, and now the protests in Egypt. I have lived through those times. But I also saw that what truly inspires us is not fear and “I have a nightmare…*” speeches. What inspires us and lifts us up is the opportunity to pick up the broken pieces and rebuild–to find our better selves.
*Credit goes to W.E. VS.