It happened again today. It happened a few months ago and a few months before that and countless times over the last several years. And yet it still surprises me. Shocks me. It makes me worry more and more for the future.
Everywhere I looked today I was surrounded by a Frozen frenzy. “Did you get your video?” “I’m staring out the window waiting for the mail truck! Where is it?! ” “I’ve called every store within a 3 hours drive and finally found her!” “I paid a fortune on Amazon for the dress but I got it!” “My daughter knows all the lyrics of all the songs…shoot, I do too!” “Want to watch my 500 Youtube videos of Frozen songs?”
This happened with the last “hot” thing and the one before that and the one before that. Why is it that people go crazy for something that will, in a few short months, end up in their garage sale bin for next to nothing? Why do they spend their hard earned dollars on something so fleeting? Disney is tickled and singing Frozen tunes all the way to the bank. Sales from the movie alone so far have exceeded $900 million. Wait, think about that…$900 million dollars. Oh the problems of this world we could solve with that kind of money funneled in other directions!! Hunger. Homelessness. Illiteracy. Crazy. Totally crazy. As I’ve pondered this today through yet another frenzy, here’s my two cents…
1) We must have the latest to show our child we love them. We want them to have what other children have so they know we love them. I invite you to ponder…Is this really how we want to show love to our children?
2) We must have the latest whatever so that we will fit in with what we perceive to be cool, to be like others, to not feel left out. We like to be part of something bigger. I invite you to ponder…Is that a group you really want to be part of and why or why not? Look deeper at the whys of our actions.
3) We must have the latest because we want to create special memories with our children that we hope will last a lifetime. I invite you to ponder….What memories are we really creating?
What will they really remember from the experience?
What are we really teaching out children when we place such a high value on material things and go to such extremes to own them? I invite you to ponder….what do our actions show is really most important in our lives? Trends like this explode because of the masterful marketing that pulls on our emotions and weaknesses. Many companies are much more concerned about how much money they can make and care little about at what cost to us, our families and our character. This is a very scary, very slippery slope of consumerism. I invite you to explore a website call [Commercial Free Childhood](http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/) to learn more about the research on marketing to children.
I believe with all my heart that it can be different and needs to be different. Your dollars decide that what companies thrive and survive. I invite you to ponder what values and companies you are feeding with your dollars. Are they companies that value relationship more than money? Are they companies that value character traits such as creativity, patience, determination in healthy ways? Spend with your mind as well as your heart and may the two be more and more in alignment with one another. This generation and the next and the next depends on it.