I began to feel physically ill while reading this chapter, absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of excess and waste that comes out of the extraordinary means of some people, mostly in the US and Europe.  Even those who do not have excess are being caught up in the MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE of our society’s cultural messages.  Sine writes that the middle class “increasingly derive our sense of identity, self-esteem and even our life purpose from our success in the marketplace of more” (149).  Remember the Olympic medalist Lauren Williams (who lost her race, by the way)?  Big house, big truck, big dog.  Is that really what life is about?  Is that really what we want to define us?  Is that what people see when they look at us, not our Christian values and God-driven love for people, but our STUFF?  Is that what WE see when we look at others?

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I agree with Sine when he writes, “Not only does this imperial global economy claim to define what is ultimate, I believe it is increasingly colonizing the imaginations of peoples all over our planet to buy into its notions of what constitutes the good life and better future” (69). I was watching the Olympics on TV last night, and a commercial came on for Lauren Williams. As she talked about her life after the previous Olympic games where she won a medal, she made this statement: “Big house, big truck, big dog. That’s what makes me, me.” I was floored! She actually defined herself not by her values, her family, or even her accomplishments. She defined herself by her STUFF!