We Offer No Defense

An old-fashioned French online guide to proper comportment shoots down that very modern way of thinking, which many view as an encroaching threat in France as well: “Philosophers may say that politeness is the greatest form of hypocrisy,” it states. “But if saying hello, apologizing, thanking, helping those in need, being attentive to others, are signs of hypocrisy, then we accept that epithet, and can offer no defense.”

Judith Warner – “Why American Kids Are Brats”

The Giving (and Wasting) Season

Ryan Expedition

A plea to those who enjoy giving this time of year:

Patrick posted this over at Minimal Mac and it got me thinking.

All of this stuff will generate a bunch of stuff to be thrown away or recycled. Wrapping, packaging, spent gift cards – they all have to end up somewhere. Not to mention all of the stuff we had to build and machines we run in order to make the stuff we give and receive.Then once the season is over, in fact the very next day, comes the inevitable stuff we have to return (for cash to buy stuff if you have the receipt, exchange for different stuff if not).

Last year, we pledged $50 each (half our gift budget) to a charity, and cut down on gifts. We’re doing the same thing this year, and, again, I ask friends and family to consider donating to charity or the kids’ college funds in place of more stuff.

We have enough stuff. We need less of it. I’m trying to minimize. If it’s meaningful, functional and worthwhile, awesome. If it’s frivolous or wasteful, save the money and put it to better use, please.

Think about all the good we can do! We welcome the generosity, but would like to redirect it to something more substantial, that’s all. 🙂

Thanks in advance!