We are living in a disposable age. Plastic water bottles, 5 dollar throw away t-shirts and social media “friends” that we will not recognise if we walked pass them on a street. It is not just people to blame the companies planned obsoletion embedded in goods makes phones go slower after the release of new software forcing customers to upgrade, shoes last a few months and TVs that die after warranty expires.
I remember my family had a fridge that had a door that looked like a front of the Cadillac Eldorado and had a lock. I was told to never climb into it because once the door was closed it wasn’t possible to open it from the inside. The thing was made in the 50s before any of my parents were born and all we had to do to maintain it is to replace a light globe and add more gas to the compressor. The thing kept going for years and we upgraded later because it was a bit noisy and had a small freezer.
I came across a story on the internet of a reporter asking a couple, “How did you manage to stay together for 65 years?” The woman replied, “We were born in a time when if something was broken we would fix it, not throw it away.” It made me realise that the wise woman might have uncovered something that I didn’t notice before. May be the disposable age did not stop at plastic forks and white goods. May be it went a bit further than that. You don’t have be polite to people on dating apps and can ghost them after a small interaction. You don’t have to stay in a relationship because meeting someone became so easy and ubiquitous that there is always a greener, slimmer, stronger or richer option that can be swiped right.
What if the disposable age impregnated society that we no longer deepen our connection with people and choose not to experience an authentic relationship with others when we stay with them through both joyful and painful times? Of course there may be other factors at play as we focus on things like self-care and conscious living more than than before. But those people do not represent the whole population.
Treating a disposable paper cup as such is expected but treating another person in the same way isn’t the same thing. Your attitude starts on the inside and building this habit signifies a lack of respect for yourself. And what if that another person is you? I would not want to experience a free fall into a bin praying that its the recycle one followed by a garbage bag collection.
So how are you treating people around you? Do you feel like you are a coffee cup sometimes and if you do how will you choose to treat others differently?