I hear a radio interview with an author of a book on poverty in the world. The book was full of large color photos and personal interviews with poor people around the world. The author said that the poor of america were some of the worst off in the world. Shocking! But his reasons were simple. The poor of America has no community support system, as they do in other village town ravaged by poverty. The poor of America are ravaged by discontent. They are surrounded by materialism and tv shows of the rich and famous, and feel that this is the standard of living. If you are poor in the third world country basically everyone you know is in the same state you are, so it is easy to be content.
How many times have I watched a sitcome and gone to bed thinking, "You know I really do need to get some big hoop earings like she was wearing, and all my shoes seem soo old. I wish I had more cute dresses, and that song they played at the end...I should find that cd..." They had hooked me, and I didn't even know it. It took over a year of television detox to even realize it.
If you are interesting in exploring this topic more, you have to check out this documentary. You can watch clips of it at that link. (And if you've never heard of the private national data base that are out there silently gathering information on transaction you make check out section 6 "Narrow Casting") After watching the whole thing I realized that what advertisers are trying so hard to do, is get inside your heard, speak your language, and convince you that whatever they are selling can fill that empty space in your life, it can be your god, the key to happiness. I've begun to realize that the less I can plug into the system, the more I can be a part of a 'peculiar people', the more I can be a light, the more useful I am to God.
"North Americans seem to have almost unlimited political, economic, and personal freedom. We live in the "free world". In fact North Americans believe they lead the way to liberty for everyone else. Yet we submit daily to brainwashing by commercial interests that must be equal to, if not more powerful than, the political posters and slogans of totalitarian governments."
~Doris Janzen Longacre