One World Week

Let go! Be happy!

Let go! Be happy!

One World Week is funded by CAFOD, the United Reformed Church’s Commitment for Life, churches, schools, trusts and other individual donors and groups. It works with a broad range of organisations including Islamic Relief and the Islamic Society of Britain as well as Fairtrade Foundation, Oxfam and other Non Governmental Organisations. So it comes from many backgrounds and works with a diverse set of people and groups.

So why have I never heard of it? (Remembering that I’ve supported CAFOD for years and now work for them)

So have you heard of it?

The idea is to bring people together at local events happening between 20th to 27th October and to take part in activities to build a just, peaceful and sustainable world. Well, that should be a busy week then!

This year’s theme is “More Than Enough” based on the quotation of Oscar Romero “Aspire not to have more but to be more.” It’s a challenge to look around us and to see what’s really important. This is explored in a 6 minute video that you can see at
http://valuesandframes.org/the-high-price-of-materialism/
From the One World Week website (which is at http://www.oneworldweek.org)
I don’t think I’m spoiling the video to say that as we amass more “stuff” we don’t get the rewards that the “stuff” promised. All car adverts show an attractive young man with an equally attractive young woman as they head off for an adventure on empty, open roads leading towards a perfect sunset. The reality of the daily commute, with it’s endless nose-to-tail, the snarling of our fellow travellers and that bloke in the 4×4 driving like he’s the only one who wants to get anywhere, well, that just wouldn’t sell anything.

We need a detox.

We need to let go of the “stuff” that’s weighing us down.

Buy a phone, even the latest one, because your last one wore out or got dropped or left on a train. Not because it has a slightly better camera, a longer battery life or a diamante cover.

Recently my wife decided that we needed an Internet enabled Smart TV. I was unconvinced. Our TV worked fine, didn’t have the Internet on it but I have a laptop and she has a net-book. But eventually it arrived. With a screen the size of a house end and an instruction booklet that dwarfed the Bible, it took a trained installer 45 minutes to get it fully attached to the World Wide Web. It has a myriad of inputs, outputs, put-put-puts, bells, whistles and bells with whistles attached. It gets used to watch programmes, the same as the previous one, even the same programmes (admittedly in High Definition, which can be quite impressive.) It allows my wife to play on her Wii, much like the previous one. I’m not allowed to play Call of Duty on it as there’s always a soap on, so I’m relegated to a 15 year old TV in the back room, so again, it’s no better than having our old TV.
Has my life, even my viewing life, been transformed by our new TV? Are images leaping out of the screen like on the adverts? Hardly, although it’s capable of 3-D, the broadcasters are stopping using it as there’s so little demand.
The answer is that my life hasn’t been transformed, certainly not compared to the price of the new set.

So if we are to “be more” rather than just “have more” we need to make a start. I saw a video a while back that included the line “I no longer want to need the “next thing” to have joy.” There needs to be a desire for change. As expectations placed on possessions become less, we become more accepting, more happy, more outward looking to a world that needs to move from “Greed is good” to Small is beautiful”. Accept that the shiny new Porsche won’t get you to the shops any faster than a 25 year old Fiesta. That an iPhone 6 won’t make better calls than an iPhone 5 and that no matter how huge your new TV screen is…there’s still times when there’s simply nothing worth watching.

One World Week 20 – 27 October 2013

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