After my last post on Too Much Stuff, I continue with another observation….Too Many Choices.
I went to the grocery the other day. I went to buy some Cheez-Its for a party mix recipe and look what I found!
Wow. I remember buying Cheeze-Its when I was first married in 1980 and there was one variety. Maybe two sizes, but one variety. I continued down the aisle to find that Wheat Thins (a new product back in the 70’s) had obviously grown into its own empire, complete with endless varieties.
The same was true of Triscuits, and the list goes on.
As varieties have grown through the years, one thing that comes to mind (as a former employee of Sutton’s Super Valu) is the shopkeeper. What does he do with all of these new varieties? He has the same amount of shelf space as he did before, but the customers are clamoring for the latest and the greatest (or what they have a coupon for). What is the shopkeeper to do?
Another perspective is for us the consumer. What has “endless varieties” of EVERYTHING done for us? Is it good? It’s not only snack crackers, but just about everything we own that now offers endless varieties. When I want to purchase electronics, for example, the choices are endless. I have to become an expert in the field to know what choice will truly fit my needs and my budget. When I want to purchase something for my home like a faucet or curtain rods, do I just go to the store and pick one? No. I get on the internet because I want to know every kind that exists in the world before choosing. (Stay tuned for my next blog…Too Much Information.)
So I ask, “Is having so many choices a good thing? Would our lives be simpler and more meaningful if we didn’t have so many choices? Would we take more time for the significant endeavors such as spending time with other human beings if we didn’t take so much time chasing after the ‘best’ of everything?”
And why do we want the latest and the greatest? Are we trying to feed our fleshly appetites for more? Do we just have to try everything, leaving no stone unturned? Is the focus all on us and our desires? Do we ever consider being content? (Can you hear a pin drop?) You know, being content with the choice that we can buy at our local store (or even what is in our own refrigerator), being content with what we already have instead of thirsting for more and more, abandoning the lust of seeing the latest option, hoping it just might fill some void in our lives?
In addition, advertising and entrepreneurship has the thrust of grabbing our attention, hoping to sell their product. Well, let’s just say they have been successful. But are we consciously aware of what they are doing? Have we let them lead us to ‘truly’ believe what they are saying? Are Snickers ‘truly’ satisfying? (Seems like it, doesn’t it?) Would I really ‘rather’ buy a Buick? (I do own one.) Does Meow Mix really taste good ‘because’ cats ask for it by name? (I’m not tryin’ it. YOU try it…no! Let’s get Mikey! He hates everything!) Is Virginia really for lovers? And where is the beef?
I would enjoy your thoughts on this subject. Have you ever considered that all of this is feeding something in us that can’t be satisfied? (Or at least satisfied by “all of this?”) As we let these things taunt us, is it robbing us from being content?
Join me in my next time when we consider: Too Much Information!