Sunday, June 29, 2008

Out with the Old

Recently my husband’s truck was stolen from a hospital parking lot while he was visiting his dad. The theft of the truck was hard enough but what really impacted him was seeing it after it was recovered. What used to be a shiny, well-maintained vehicle (with all the bells and whistles) was now a junkyard-bound hoopty. It had been used by “coyotes” to transport illegal aliens into the US from Mexico, apparently on a number of trips. The bed was dented and sagging in the middle with tied-together seat belts wrapped around to keep it from collapsing completely. We were told that it likely held 40 people per trip!
It was used and certainly abused until it stopped running, and then it was discarded like a dirty Pampers.

The cell phone contract at our business was up for renewal a couple weeks ago and along with it the task of ordering new phones. Most of the old ones were barely hanging on but some were still in working condition, yet it was expected that they all be replaced and the old ones tossed out.

Our city sends a notice every few months that on a designated day large items of trash will be picked up and hauled away. As I drive through my neighborhood I spot appliances, furniture, artwork and electronics sitting curbside, awaiting their graveyard destination.

You probably guessed where I’m headed by now. We are conditioned to believe that most things are disposable. This philosophy seems to perpetuate a lack of appreciation for what we have as well as any amount of regard for taking care of our property. This "everything can be replaced" mentality can easily cross over into areas of life where it is not meant to apply like relationships, jobs and other people’s possessions.

I encourage you to take a closer look at things you’ve considered doing away with and pondering whether they might have a little more life, could someone else use them or could they be repaired or upgraded instead of discarded.

Additionally, take a little trip (it doesn’t have to be Zimbabwe or Mexico—there is a neighborhood in your town) to a place where they don’t throw away the refrigerator because the new model looks prettier. Value and appreciate the things you’ve been blessed with.

Most importantly, model and teach your children this lesson. Don’t give them a new toy the minute the old one breaks or becomes boring. Avoid replacing their cell phone because it doesn’t have all the latest features. Help them understand that THINGS have value because they are the result of hard work.

Have you had a “disposable” experience recently?
Diane Markins


Anonymous said...

Yep! My garage is full of yours! And Thank You! We have made very good use of almost every one. One man's junk is always another man's treasure...reason for thrift stores and junk on lawns!!


Anonymous said...

I love you Diane!

I hate throwing things away! It's kills me to even have to throw away water bottles....that have been used ONE time! I even wash out my zip-lock bags and reused them :-) lol! Sometimes I ask myself what I'm doing going to work in a hospital where EVERYTHING gets used once and thrown away, AAHH!!!

.... although I do wish I could throw out all my appliances and get new ones seeing as how they are almost as old as I am!


Diane Markins photo by Focus Pocus Scottsdale, AZ said...

I think you should definitely toss out the appliances and get new ones...but wait til you can afford to buy them without credit! (yikes, that's another blog post for another Sunday!)