We are kept in a state of fear and unhappiness, which is what sells. But people are holding-on to their cash now, and that might illumine the dawn of a less materialistic thought-process for living. I have a friend who tells me that the only way she can feed herself and her 5 kids in because a certain fast-food burger outlet offers a 99p "meal deal". So that's around six-quid as we say over here.
It may be nice to go-out for a meal, all of them, but she could feed the lot of them for a third of that... that's if she knew anything about nutrition. We seem to have lost a lot of knowledge... how to grow food, cook it, put up shelves, and some spiritual foundation. The "loss" of the family is a lot to do with that, and the benefits culture simply encourages and supports the mess that is reality when daddy buggers off.
In the ensuing age of "less", it will mean that less has to mean more, in the restitution of all the above that we have lost during the past 30 - 40 years. With freedom comes responsibility, and abandoning your kids is not the greatest achievement of a man. Most of the troubles of modern society are born from freedom and excess, and the lack of ability to handle both.
There never was a family like "The Waltons" probably, but we are going to need to stick together in future simply because we will need one another. This is a practical example of spiritual foundation - love, it is sometimes called. I would recommend the Abbot's wise words, in the licence of "Shoppers are selling their souls", as he is quoted below. I spoke to my mother recently who said that "when you were a baby, we were incredibly short of money. So I told the family... there won't be any Christmas presents this year..." This was in the Cardiff of 1959-1960.
It doesn't sound like it was happy affair, but they did get through it. So can we all, but with less material and more spiritual solidity.
Abbot Christopher Jamison warned that rampant consumer culture is taking over people's moral purpose as their material needs are now all met.
He urged people to enjoy the month of Advent rather than celebrating Christmas early. Not a bad idea. I think I will go out and buy an advent calender.
"Shoppers are selling their souls", monk warns. By Martin Beckford: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/3419208/Shoppers-are-selling-their-souls-monk-warns.html