Waiting in steady, silent anticipation for that moment when I no longer need to buy new things. I buy used clothing and a few scraps of food to stay alive. I spend money on digital services to read and write online. But, I stop buying books, and only read the ones I’ve got, or I check some out from the library, or read the ones online that are free.
Will we have another kid? We’ll see.
I don’t feel like I need much of anything most of the time, but occasionally I am met with great temptation to have a lot of new, nice things.
I don’t place a lot of value on things. My own body is highly corruptible. My self, whatever that might be, is at least in the form that I mostly know it to be, a rather average self of modest gifts. Buying things that would allow me to enhance myself in inauthentic ways seems to be mostly a waste of time.
I don’t even place great value on a return to some kind of purity–I don’t need a Walden so much as an abode that delivers evidence of minimally conspicuous consumption. I don’t place value on becoming radically vegan, or adopting an all-meat diet, or some other fad. I prefer the idea of taking down the excessive consumption of meat and drink to levels that are moderate and don’t tax my body too much.
Am I a boring person–quite, but I am almost never bored. I can generally be entertained by some kind of reading material I find lying about, or watch random shows and movies on my subcription services. I am equally entertained by nature, and enjoy being out in it, though I hardly feel the need to leave urban park areas much. I am boring to the outside world, but I am capable of amusing myself adequately to the point where I don’t need to be seeking out too many novel thrills.
As I push on into my forties, I find myself less full of that fear of mortality that I held throughout my thirties after my mom died. The question of whether or not God is going to send me to hell seems to be almost entirely outside of my power to address and definitively answer. What’s more, much of my persistent sinning will probably take place up until my death–as it has for most carnal, sexual human beings. We sin. Many of us, myself included, wish to sin less or not at all, but it happens. I pray for forgiveness, and move on. I try to focus on being a follower of Christ by addressing those I meet on a one-to-one basis. In other words, I don’t seek out great programs that will make me help the most people with the least effort, but try to embody the Christ spirit as much as I can when I am in the moment with others, and pray for forgiveness when I don’t. Which happens every hour.
I dream for the future world where there will be complete peace here on earth. I don’t talk about these dreams much, because I live in a cynical society and generation, and we are supposed to believe that there is no way that humans can figure out to live peacefully among themselves while sharing the earth’s resources in a responsible way with other creatures. I think it is possible and I think that it will happen. I don’t necessarily believe that it will happen without some kind of divine intervention or massive wipeout of half the human race. I think we will see many times of troubles before we forget how to study war.
I don’t have all of the answers, but neither does America in its most stereotypical form. Sure, our founding documents have some nice ideas about treating everyone equally, but we all know better. I don’t know that America will end up being the shining beacon that guides the human race to its final resting place of peace. We will probably bankrupt ourselves over a few more wars, have half the country go to wealthier countries that have won the 21st Century, and then the world will slowly but surely (and painfully) learn to live in peace. Jesus might have all of the answers, but I am willing to read other religious texts as well. I am willing to read scientific ways to obtain peace–to remove our warring instincts.
I think that once all of humankind is cooperating on a peaceful-but-free basis–not a Pax Romana or some other kind of peace manufactured by the imposition of a dominating nation–then we will be able to pool our intellectual resources in ways we are only catching glimpses of. We will build those bridges to other galaxies and travel far out across the universe. No child will die from want of food or drink or clothing. No child will grow up without having received at least a K-12 education plus some kind of two-year trade program. There will be fewer people on the planet. We will probably all more or less look Afro-Indo-Chinese–we will be brown-skinned and have dark, curly hair and faces that are flat and eyes that are thin. No one will really care about this sort of thing, anymore–the human races all melded to be what they came to be, and that was that.