Utne Article Summary Nov/Dec 1998

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The Stuff of Life by: Scott Russell Sanders

Utne Article Summary

November, December 1998

Submitted by: Ladd Kocinski

International Falls Cohort

This short article deals with what is necessary vs. over indulgence. The author begins the article by explaining how wonderful a weekly backpacking experience was for his son and him. Spending time in the quiet and experiencing mother nature seemed to rejuvenate both he and his son emotionally. They seemed to gain some inner peace. This refreshing feeling seems to quickly dispense and disappear when they return to the real world of jobs and responsibility. Life in the wilderness seems so simple and decisions seem much easier. Materialism quickly seems to be the reason for the hectic city pace. Does one really need that much money to buy all that stuff. How much of what one buys is really necessary? America has had the key up with the Jones mentality for quite a number of years. Bigger, faster, stronger, louder more, are all terms to define success in America. But in the process, whats happening to wilderness, wildlife, resources, pollution, and quality of life. Obviously there must be compromise, but thus far this hasnt been reached. The less America is able to change its philosophy on greed and ownership, life will certainly drastically change for the worst in a short time. Over all quality of life must be looked at and the one with the most stuff is not necessarily, the winner. Wind, water, wildlife, solitude, air, and resources are all essential to quality existence for every living thing on earth. Unless America and the world puts ultimate importance on these possessions and realizes the folly of the present system, life as it is enjoyed today will cease.

-- Anonymous, May 12, 1999

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