Several weeks ago, my pastor, Reverend Dorota Wright-Pruski began her sermon with this statement. “The pandemic has revealed, among other things, a collective penchant for accumulating stuff. From panic buying flour and toilet paper to buying out every manner of home appliance including air fryers and deep freezers, to creating an unprecedented demand for Pelaton bikes and patio heaters.“ That people collect stuff is nothing new, as Reverend Dorota further noted. We even have different terms for it. If we collect a lot of similar items, they are collections. An antique to one person may be just old junk to another. What is clear is that people have a much easier time accumulating than they do of letting go.
Reverend Dorota also noted that the concept of collecting not only relevant to physical things but to ideas too. Part of being human is taking in ideas and making judgments. Perceptions and assessments help us to make informed decisions and avoid danger but too often, we allow our judgments to shortcut the process of really understanding. Clearly, the perception of danger when we smell smoke and the judgment to leave a burning building is important to one’s safety. But, we have to be careful not to let our skill at quick judgment lead us to stereotypes that are unfair and destructive. In the past number of years, the political differences in the U.S. have been very stark. For any issue, people on both sides cannot believe how the other side can be so ignorant as to have the beliefs they have. The social media echo chambers allow people to dig into their positions that much more. If we have such disdain for those that don’t share our opinions, how can we ever treat them with the respect and compassion that every person deserves. It’s not easy to let go of those judgments. As I noted earlier, it’s easier to accumulate than to let go.
I think of myself as a caring, empathetic, nice person but I know that I fall into some of these traps of judging and labeling. I’m going to try to spend some time cleaning out my closet and cleaning out my mind. But I’m not giving up the patio heater.
This week’s selection is:
In 1986, Detective Park Gwang-Ho desperately tries to catch a serial killer. He chases after the serial killer and goes through a tunnel. On the other side of the tunnel, Detective Park Gwang-Ho finds himself in the year 2017. The serial killer has resumed the killings that began 30 years ago. Detective Park Gwang-Ho works with Detective Kim Sun-Jae and Professor of Criminal Psychology Shin Jae-Yi to catch the killer.