I have become a victim of our throwaway society yet again. The lack of respect for what we own and what we buy for our children because they are so cheaply made and cheaply bought was brought home to me.
As many of you know I am continually struggling with our rental house. It still sits empty (well, of people at least) as of Sept 3. However the amount of literal garbage, waste, old broken furniture and endless broken and unbroken toys and baby things litter the yard.
We went there the other day to get the power turned back on and saw a note from the town. Though they have our mailing address, they saw fit to send a letter to the actual house, which we had no access to legally (though we own it-well the bank owns it mostly). We are now being charged $100 a day due to the yard being full of garbage, broken furniture and a large unwieldy refrigerator our tenants felt the need to leave on the deck.
Amid all the rubble are literally piles of children’s toys dumped here and there. A giant, but shoddy and torn ‘Disney Princess’ play tunnel rots and gathers bugs in the front yard. We, now, are expected to pay for all this clean up with NO obligation on the old tenants who are long gone after months of not paying rent. They left their dirty dishes not only all over the house but saw fit to throw them out the second story window so they smash into bits.
So, last night hubby and I headed over to start the process and soon found ourselves oddly itchy. We looked down and were covered in fleas. So we had to buy many flea bombs, close up the smelly house and set them off. It just keeps getting more and more hard work, costly and insane.
Back to my original thought: How our cheap to buy and make throw away society teaches us to value nothing, including people. If your children’s toys are so cheap and easy to buy and pile up, are they cherished? No. If your dishes and pots and pans are pennies at Walmart, why clean them up and take them, you can always buy more and its not as if you had to pay your rent or clean up costs.
I think the most obvious thing I have come to see that has changed our culture since the 1950’s is the mass production. Many people can say this or that about free enterprise or the joy of so much so cheap, but how does it affect us as a culture and individuals as to how we treat our things? If they are easy to get and break and we throw them out, we have no respect or care for them. Doesn’t this same disrespect wash over into how we treat one another and relationships? Is it all throw away? Are we all entitled to easy and cheap everything and if we don’t like it anymore, spoiled brat style, can’t we just toss it on the wayside, be damned how it affects those around us or even the earth we live on? Who cares, we can buy more.
Many people cherish antiques and toys of old. They were special because they were few and well made and cared for. How many children today will think fondly of their rooms full of the latest toy which becomes obsolete as soon as the next big blockbuster commercial, er…I mean Movie comes out. We our given a new product in the form of entertainment and then flooded with clothes, accoutrement, toys and the like emblazoned with that image. Then, a few months down the road, its something new. We are on an endless cycle to want more and to be shown the ‘next thing’ so we know what to buy.
All I know is this year, after the past two years in 1950’s, couldn’t be more a trial by fire to demonstrate our current country, world and human psyche of disposable and cheap relationships, living, things, and even homes.
I am honestly not sure when the nightmare of this house situation will end for us. We have a long road ahead just to clean up the mess and now we have to go to the town and try to talk them out of charging us so far 1800 dollars for a mess we didn’t make and weren’t allowed to clean up (as we were not allowed on our own property). The laws and rights of private property, the continual growth of the ‘throwaway’ and the continued training in the “I could care less about anyone but myself and my things and even those I don’t really care about” has really been brought home. I hope we can make it free and happy out of the end of this year, but its seems so far away. And at every turn our personal rights and personal property seem to be up for grabs for anyone who wants to step upon them with the law behind them. The power and right for the small middle to own and try to improve seems almost a joke, as it is bombarded from both ends. The top with its endless buying up and conglomerating into a few small controlling companies of airwaves and production and below with the endless laws set in place to basically create those who have no need to care for themselves or their belongings or others, as someone else shall always clear it up for them and they have no responsibility.
I am sorry this is such a sad post, but this past week has been just day after day of increasingly bad and frightening news about what we understand about our personal and property rights. Do we really own our own things? And have we any rights?