Things are not made to last

March 8th, 2011

Sigh, things are not made to last.

Within a span of 2 months, two of my hair clips broke. Actually, it is only the tiny flimsy springs in them that broke. The remaining parts are still very much in good working conditions. I intend to try to repair it, but it would mean sourcing for the correct type of wire to recreate the spring components. If that is not possible, I might have to send the remaining parts for recycling.

With the trouble, it is no wonder that most people prefer to take the easy way out and simply discard the old and buy new ones. Especially when the new ones cost so little.

I can’t help feeling a little discouraged. The great pains I take to reduce consumption and waste every day– not buying new things unless they are necessary — seem so easily negated by the fragility of things we own these days. With mass production and surrounded by a consumerism culture, nothing much is made to last these days. The idea is so that we can and will always be getting new things and this consumption will help to keep the millions of production industries alive and the world’s economies growing.

Growing, at the expense of the earth’s resources.

Nathan Gardels (Editor, New Perspective Quarterly) said in the documentary, the 11th Hour, “after the industrial revolution, nature was converted to a resource and that resource was seen as, essentially, eternally abundant. This led to the idea and the conception behind progress, which is, limitless growth, limitless expansion.”

Indeed, that helps to account for the way things are today — the rate at which things are being produced this very minute, and the rate at which things are being discarded this very second. For every hair clip that I buy, there are probably a million others that were being produced together with it, and a million others that are being produced the next day, and the next. How many hair clips does the world truly need? Not many actually, unless the hair clips spoil after a while and need to be replaced very soon. I think you get the gist.

Maybe one day, we humans will learn to better appreciate the materials we have on this earth — that they are a privilege, not an entitlement. And maybe we will come to realize that the resources on this earth is in no way infinite.

But I really hope that we learn it soon enough, and not only on the day we have to trade a pair of gloves for half a bottle of drinking water. That was what happened in the post-apocalyptic world in the movie, the Book of Eli, where men had to kill each other for the very materials that we have no second thoughts about throwing away today.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 at 3:22 am and is filed under Movie Review, Reflections. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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