Thursday, March 29, 2007

Poverty of a Different Kind

Watching "The Corporation" today, I tried to balance my normal infuriating reaction with some semblance of openness toward the message. While there were some things that I still think are way off base, there was one conclusion that I drew from the film:

We, in North America, live in poverty.

It's not the same kind of poverty that you see in places that suffer from disease and malnourishment. Ours is a poverty of spirit. It's a poverty of perpetual hunger for more. Emile Durkheim, a prominent French sociologist, said something to the effect of "a need fulfilled only leads to the desire for more." We live in a culture that is never satisfied... we always want more profits, higher productivity, better cars, bigger houses...

The tragic part of all this is that it comes at the expense of those who live in a more tangible kind of poverty. Corporations in North America benefit from the cheap labour of those who work simply to afford food for their families... and many work for less than that. We can judge the corporations who do that as evil, but who supports them? Who benefits from the lower prices? Or, who seeks after the prestige of certain brands?

The cry of my heart these days is why can I not simply be content. Why must I always want more, need more?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Next Step...

It's amazing how introspective and nostalgic we become at the end of one stage of our journey. In just 30 days, I will write the last exam of my undergraduate degree, and then I will officially begin my career. I think I've dreamed of this time for pretty much my whole life, but now that it's coming, it just seems scary and suddenly the things I have always seen as frustrating (papers, exams, group projects) become comforting in their familiarity.

Conversely, the things I have always looked forward to, such as moving out of my parents' house, become these overwhelming decisions... should I get a roommate? If I do, who should I live with?

Life seems to be the balance of the unknown and the comforting. Being in Edmonton right now, I almost feel trapped and anxious to leave. But as I talk to people who are off having their adventures in Europe, I hear about a lot of homesickness. So, maybe rather than itching to get out, I should be grateful for all I have here.

My theory on heaven is that it will be a place where we are always having an adventure, but have all the comforts of home. Downhere has a hidden track with the lyrics "remind us that we have not reached home." I've always appreciated that when life is scary, confusing or just plain unpleasant. This is not the end of the journey.

Wow, I don't know how I got there from graduation. I am living in exciting times, but am also really scared because I don't know what my life will look like in a month and a half.

If anyone knows of a management consulting firm looking for a fresh undergraduate lackey to train as a consultant... please let me know!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


When I was mentally creating this blog post earlier in my head, it was going to be about procrastination. I have a group presentation in just over 2 hours and another group project due tomorrow. As I was working on both of those things earlier (yes, simultaneously, since I'm a multi-tasker), I was going to take a "break" to talk about how bad I am for procrastinating.

But, then, I realized that even if I decided to put off doing those tasks, I was still going to have to do them later. That's the problem with procrastination - it usually creates bigger problems in the long-run and never actually enables you to avoid work.

So then I got to thinking about how we humans are so focussed on the short-term that we often make decisions that seriously hamper our long-terms. I have been thinking about this a lot lately as Switchfoot often examines the tension between living for today and living in light of eternity. To further compound that, in a study on Ephesians 3 last week we talked about how different our lives would look if we could truly live in knowledge of God's power and his ability to do "immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine."

As you can now see, I chose not to procrastinate in my studies to post a blog. Instead, I worked through it and now that I have finished what I wanted to do, I am posting a blog guilt-free.

Honestly, I can't imagine how much different my life would be if I could get over my myopia and develop long-term vision.