- Religion and Philosophy
Labels, Tags & Name Brands
Even if we are personally "all together" in our confidence or whatever, how many of us will still seek labels, tags, "names", emblems, logos, etc, to define us, or more clearly, to gain us status. I've been there, and I've seen many others there. Whether it's the it's the big screen TV in the tiny tenement apartment living room, or the high dollar mudder tires mounted on fancy rims on a ratted out, rotted out pick-up truck. A fishing boat & gear worth more than the home it's located stored at. Living check to check but wanting, Nike, Louis, Armani, HAVING to drink "Starbucks". I personally still have some brand issues, although it's way better than it was.
My hope is that we'd get to a point where we say, "Nowadays, the most important "tag or label" to me, is the one that says "God's Property", Eternally!"
Yes, God is good, so very good and all of those "name" brands that we seek & crave, well, it's kind of funny that most Americans define themselves as "Free Thinking Individualists", because the desire to seek name brands is often a follower mentality that goes against that individualism.
Even Starbucks, now a huge multi million (if not billion) dollar corporation was "birthed in success" by the more liberal anti-capitalist crowd, who oddly, are still for the most part "stuck on Starbucks". Do we need "this" as a status symbol? I like Levi Jeans, but Route 66 (K-Mart) runs a very close second. It's not about what others think, so I don't need name brand anything, however there are some things that I like. What I do seek is a good functioning product, at a reasonable price, when quality, affordability & viability all line up, that's my "brand".
I've known, or seen many people that will purchase things that they can't afford, so that it will look like they can afford it. Are they fooling anyone though? If you see a homeless person with an iPhone & Nike's, do you assume they are living in the woods for kicks?
I've seen many a sweet looking car, with an incredible sound system in it, and nice rims & tires, I've seen many of these sitting in yards & driveways - NOT RUNNING, because the look & sound took priority over important things, like actually running, or some level of mechanical care.
I've seen people load up their dreary or dismal homes with "stuff" instead of putting the money spent on stuff toward home improvements or another residence. A Rolex watch doesn't serve much purpose on an unclothed body, or one adorned with rags. I'm not condemning anyone, as I said earlier, some of these are drawn from personal experience. I remember at one point in time the car I had was worth more than the mobile home I was living in, ah, priorities.
Why do we "buy in" to this stuff? I hear things l along the lines of "I like nice stuff", "I want the best" , etc, as to the products themselves, although sometimes true, more often than not they aren't "the best", but they are the most expensive or most advertised (marketed). The saddest blow is when someone loses one of these treasured items, it can be devastating, "where your treasure is". What if a fire claimed ALL of the treasured stuff, and there was no insurance because the money was more happily spent on stuff.
There are a couple of spiritual lessons here, one is the obvious worrying about the look, image, "name", or perception, while having no concern for the inner workings. How often we see people like this! All appearances "good", yet dying inside, all because they are so worried about public persona & perception. This is especially prevalent in "church", a good front put on for all to see, all the while wrestling with sin & strife on the inside. Afraid to break down, let go & open up to others (often even God - as if He's "fooled") because they don't want their image "scorned or soured."
The other side is the basic "why" to begin with. Why does anyone really need a Louis Vitton bag or Jimmy Choo shoes, seriously. It's all about image or else people wouldn't "say" the brand name they are wearing, "So do you like my new (name brand I'm wearing)?" What's wrong with "Do you like my new (item)?" And some do that, hoping to prompt the "brand identity" question. It is sad, that so many feel that these things (it's all they are) & items somehow better them. Our value so needs to be in ourselves, through God in us, God made us, what can possibly make us "better" than being Gods creation? Be we in Goodwill clothing or an Armani suit, our value SO needs to be in God in us.
If were acquiring these items to give or bring us "joy" we have yet another rather shallow problem, thingscan only apply a momentary or random intermittent "joy", it's a loss, you'll always need "more". The only "thing" I've found a consistent peace, contentment & joy in is my relationship with God in Christ. Sure, there are "things" that I like, but I don't need them for happiness or satisfaction. I've grown to let God define me, because in the end, His is the only opinion that matters.