A question that continues to pursue me is: How do we resist the seductions of a culture that invites us to define ourselves by what we consume?
I was amazed by a young 13-year-old who gave me a partial answer! Before Christmas, a mother said to me: “It’s so hard these days to satisfy children with incredible ‘wish lists’; brand names are in and they wish for nothing less! Except for my 13-year-old who said to me: ‘Mom, I don’t want anything; I don’t need anything!’ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! What shall I do? I immediately thought she would feel left out on Christmas Eve when we opened our gifts. But she repeated: ‘No, mom, that’s OK. I don’t want or need anything!’”
What did I think? I thought that mom had an unusual child and a wonderful problem! I’d love to know if she took my suggestion: “Take her down to the sidewalk between Applebee’s and Olive Garden; let her approach any homeless, jobless, hungry person there, and invite one of them to have lunch with the two of you!”
How would YOU have answered that mom and my original question about consumerism?
Renée Domeier, OSB