One of my favorite blogs started me thinking. Here is the original post:
I have a theory on how this change in attitudes has come about. This is a primarily US view, though. Sorry to those not in the US. Perhaps the same holds for other cultural/ethnic perspectives, I would be interested to hear what others think.
Our grandparents (mine, at least, I’m in my 30s) came through the depression at an impressionable age. But then they got through a war, got married, had families, and found themselves in a very profitable time. They were drawn in to this prosperity, especially after the very hard times of the 1930s. Their children (my parents) saw the joy and comfort their parents found in material wealth, and pursued it even further. But neither found exactly what they were looking for. My generation has seen the truth of it… the lack of contentment in our grandparents or in our parents, nor is there any true joy or peace in us. We have seen two generations not find peace in economic prosperity, so we are looking else where (at least some of us are). More and more are returning to what life was before our grandparents (or parents), thinking we will find peace and joy and contentment there.
I saw the same thing while living in China (mainland). Those who came through the cultural revolution knew hardship and poverty, and they saw the prosperity of the west. So, when in the 1980s they were given the opportunity to pursue the same, they did. When I was there, early 2000s, many knew that they were not finding the peace or contentment in wealth that they expected to find and had begun looking else where.
There ends the theory of origins… and here begins the theory of solutions.
In either lifestyle, simple and slow or complicated and busy, we will never find true contentment, peace or joy. Those things cannot be found on this earth or in anything earthly. I truly believe we will only find these things in true reconciliation with God, through his son Jesus Christ.
I do think the simple and slower life is important and is more healthy. It gives us time to reflect, to enjoy, to love others well. But it is not the answer we are looking for. I do find great joy in gardening, in cooking, baking bread, knitting… all the things you find me writing about here. But when times get tough, whether it is the death of a loved one or a miscommunication oriented spat with someone (I know about both, unfortunately), it is knowing that I am reconciled with God and back on path to being the woman I was made to be that I find peace and a deep, deep joy that is incomprehensible, even to me.
I think I will end my sermon there, though there is so much more in my heart that needs to be said. I will say it at a different point, though, a time more appropriate for those words. For now, this is all that needs to be said, I think.