Take food as an example. I have had the privilege of enjoying multiple meals with friends over the years. It is a gift to enjoy food prepared by the able hands of someone who actually knows you and spends hours getting a meal ready. How different it is to go to a commercial establishment where you never see who prepares your food. This separation makes it all but impossible for the preparer to include anything of himself, any love in the preparation. It also makes it easier for the consumer to withhold true gratitude or even common courtesy if things are not to his liking. It is about the food rather than the gifts of service and gratitude.
When we become consumers we lose any sense of gratitude. This happens in so many areas of life. It is a cancer eating away at our world and rendering us increasingly selfish and unloving toward each other. It is at the very core of our addictions to food, sex, and “love” today.
We have turned the gift of love expressed physically into a commodity and have made it about desire rather than giving. We have flipped it backwards, thus trivializing it. Food and sex both appeal to our senses, which tell us we need more of whatever feels good, but when we focus on taking rather than giving we bury our very souls beneath a mountain of greed, lust, and gluttony.
How do we recapture and reassert a sense of gratitude and sacrifice in a culture saturated with consumerism and selfishness?