Last Friday we talked about the new original sin of Chinese Forced Labor, we all benefit with cheap goods and it encourages us to lie and ignore our conscience.
So why did I use the term original sin? Well biblically, that sin from Adam and Eve impacts us all. Sin brought death and we all are subject to the consequences of death.
Chinese Forced Labor, for decades unchecked - I doubt you can go to the store and avoid something made in china, maybe or maybe not, made my slave labor - brings consequences we'd rather ignore.
How do you find life when you have become burdened by things you turn a blind eye to – all the things culture tries to sell us – new clothes made by slaves, a million diet products to look pretty, the newest version of a phone that works perfectly well, and I could go on. Obviously, not everything is black and white, so many things we can buy that can vastly improve our lives, yet so many things that can take our focus off of the things that matter.
I still think that late Thomas Merton nailed advertising and our consumer culture back in the 50s and 60s:
“Advertising treats all products with the reverence and the seriousness due to sacraments.”
Being sold contributes to the noise of modern life. Again, written over 50 years ago, think of the implications of the following quote today:
“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of contemporary violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activity neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”