When Convenience Eclipses Commitment


Our culture values convenience over almost everything else, but if we're not careful, our desire for things that are disposable and easy can become a character issue.

We live in a world of convenience. Kids today have been called the “disposable” generation because everything can be thrown away when they’re finished with it. No commitment has to last too long. This can create problems morally and spiritually. For instance, during the summer following 9/11, France lost thousands of people in a heat wave. It was awful—but the worst part about it all came after the deaths. When the heat wave struck, 15,000 elderly people died in nursing homes and hospitals. Unfortunately, it was August and most French people were on vacation. The children of those elders didn’t even leave the beaches to come back and take care of their bodies. Institutions had to scramble to find enough refrigeration units to hold the corpses until family members finally came to claim them.

The loss of life was five times bigger than the terrorist attack of 9/11, yet it didn’t trigger any change in French society. Why? Because keeping mom and dad alive is costly and inconvenient.

Convenience has eclipsed commitment. Sticking to what we believe to be right is hard because change is normal today—and because few are able to endure what is inconvenient. We complain about traffic lights being too long. We fill out a card if the service is sub-par at a restaurant. We even pace in front of our microwave, waiting for our snack! And this is more true for today’s students than anyone else.

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