Walter Mencken 2:37 p.m., March 1
- Community Blog
As I chatted with a fellow Scripps Rancher the other day, I mentioned that I had recently sold a few items on Craigslist. Explaining the need to downsize for an upcoming move, I bragged about a twenty dollar set of blankets and a forty-five dollar filing cabinet.
Anonymous Rancher sized me up through narrowed lids, "Was that life-changing for you?"
At the time I took his sarcasm-soaked jab and replied with only a shrugging half-hearted denial. His remark, however, stuck with me.
Later I tried to imagine his response had I explained my point wasn't that I had made sixty-five dollars and could now retire without a care, but rather that in the "big picture" these things still had value and people in need of them and I felt good about uniting the two. Yes, it would be easier, no doubt, to roll a dumpster up to the front door and start chucking unwanted items for a quick trip to the nearest landfill. Our modern "disposable" society would certainly agree with this method. But I can't help feeling that things still functional and useful are worthy of my efforts to find them a new place in the world. Don't get me wrong, some things are well used and deserve to be discarded; if not dissolved in a vat of acid or buried in the backyard!
Anonymous Rancher's remark got under my skin because it implied that he was "too cool", "too tough", "too hip" to worry about such things.
So, what would have happened had I shared my thoughts with him? Would he have suddenly seen the light and realized we are in danger of consuming ourselves into oblivion: or would he have simply asked me, "I know you are, but what am I?"