Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013
ShrinkingPosted Friday, April 6, 2012, at 5:27 PM
Maybe I am the only person it bothers.
Products keep shrinking in size! I know that times are rough and that companies must adapt. Change occurs and stores are only trying to do what makes sense given customer demand, need, and financing.
Yet ... I am tired of paying more for coffee at the grocery store and only getting "240 cups of coffee" instead of the "270 cups" in plastic containers that look the same size. I'm frustrated at paying the same price for tissues in a box that is half the size in comparison to the same product six months ago.
And I'm tired of toilet paper that is "new and improved" and of less quality on smaller rolls. One company is even selling rolls of toilet paper without the cardboard insert at the center. I want to write a letter to the company headquarters. "You can change the number of chicken nuggets in the same size bag, you can change the amount of cereal in the same size box, but don't change my toilet paper!"
Maybe I'm reaching that age when change of any kind is more difficult. Or maybe I'm seeing change now down to the level of the basics.
And of course this reminds me of spirituality!
Traditionally these are the weeks where people of the western European influenced world pause from the routines of life and look at the very basics of their existence. Christians call it Holy Week. Persons of the Jewish faith call it making preparation for the Passover. Each day would be filled with themes and focused activities to help the faithful reclaim and recommit in their faith.
Change came in the form of new jobs in new places pulling families away from each other and the traditions that had maintained their identities. Change came in the form of television that filled our "resting" moments with mindless and unproductive couch time. Change came in the form of our heavy work schedules and our busy lives that left us little time to focus upon ourselves.
I'm a Christian from the Protestant tradition. Over the decades we've changed from reading the Old and New Testaments to reading just the New Testament, from reading the New Testament to reading just the Gospels, and now from reading the Gospels to showing our children videos of Veggie Tales. "After all, they all teach the same thing, don't they," I've heard many people say. The same type of down sizing is happening with Jewish families, Buddhist and Hindu families, and even families of the faith of Islam.
Don't get me wrong. I know change will come no matter my concerns, because that is simply a constant in life. However, if enough people notice, if enough people protest, if enough people care ...
Remember when Coke changed its formula and people wouldn't buy it? Remember when Netflix changed its pricing plan and people dropped their memberships?
It seems to me that spirituality is one of the basics of life. And it seems to me that we are short-changing ourselves if we believe we will obtain the same wisdom and the same blessings with less involvement and commitment.
Athletes can't compete if they don't practice. Musicians can't perform if they don't rehearse. Actually, I'm wrong on that. Athletes can compete without practicing and musicians can perform without rehearsing. But would you expect them to do well?
I don't care if you identify with a religion or not. I don't care if you consider yourself to be a spiritual person. I challenge you! Take an hour a day for the next seven days. Ask yourself two simple questions. "Is my wisdom growing regarding life, the world, and my existence?" "Am I doing what I can to be productive and happy?"
If your answer is yes to either one of them then you are on the right track. If your answer is yes to both of them then it is time for you to answer your calling into professional ministry so that you can lead others towards their right track!
And if your answer is no to both questions then I invite you to seek someone who is saying yes and who will help you reclaim and recommit.
P.T. Wilson is the senior pastor at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, Greencastle, and is also the University Chaplain at DePauw University.