I’ve decided that this election is all about refrigerators. Those homely green things that would have run 1000 years had we let them. Eternal living fridges, faithful cooling machines still cooling our milk and sandwiches, had we, the homeowners, not rejected them for something more chic. A demand for bells and whistles in exchange for units that would never leak, shoot ice cross the floor, rot through flimsy non-stainless steel exterior walls, taking chunks of pretend metal with it. Have you been shopping for a fridge, a microwave or dishwasher lately? I’m guessing in the past 5 years, you have. My point exactly. There is no good reason an appliance should last less than 50 years or 100. And now they last, what?! A grand total of 10 years if we pay a maintenance man to keep fussing with them!!
There was a time when reliability was more important than appearance. When a person’s ‘name’ or company name was protected by solid workmanship. Refrigerators are but one way our world cares more about the ‘cool’ factor, more about making an impression, taking up a place of position in the kitchen then it does function. Let’s see, there is the lovely expensive blouse perchance at Nordstrom’s, a blouse I can’t do without. One wash later, limp and faded, it should be tossed, but still takes up space because, after all, it use to be so lovely. No conscience about the choice of fabric. No name to uphold. Books with a catchy title by a well known author, and inside the book, 7 ways to do such and such, a nice format and lacking anything of creativity and depth. The can opener that looks the part and can’t do the job after a couple months. An fine looking brand new all wheel drive in my favorite color, and along with the name, an expectation that the head on the engine has to be reworked routinely. Seriously?!
We complain bitterly about the election this year, and about the lack of good choices in whom to vote for, but our options match who we have become. T.V., radio, movies, music, books, art, the news, housing architecture, we have thrown out beauty, form, substance and have replaced it with a shell, one that appears to have some of the elements of something that once was. What seems to be most important to us now is not goodness, but persons who act like they belong on a reality show. We love the angry, loud, crass, shallow, dishonest, we idolize bullies, we devalue human life, both the old and young, people different from ourselves, we crave brazen show-off’s and have no respect for the quiet spirit of a green fridge. The person that has few frills, no scandals, does their job, holds respect for those they answer to, (we are all under someone whether we scrub toilets, play football or serve ‘we the people’), does not see themselves as ‘the living end’, a person who uses power granted to them with humility, and uses it toward the achievement of peace, with the maturity to use force as a last resort.
I can’t march over and change up the election process this year, grab a couple brats by the scruff of the neck and put them in time out awhile, bringing in two kind hearted, honest candidates. But I can ask myself, what am I doing to perpetuate power and flashy? What about me likes to hear a radio money man lip off at an ‘idiot’? Likes to see wrongdoers put in their place in a disrespectful way? What if we all move through our homes and cars, our entertainment, our faith, our parenting styles, through our lives and take to tossing everything lacking substance? This election season will come and go. We might forget what we’ve done to cause what happens this November. The regrets on death bed are mostly about love. Life is too short to be about power games and show. What if the rest of my life I became the best green fridge I can be, and support all green fridges around me? That’s what I’ll do. This November I’m going green.