The writer Marc Gunther gives us something to consider as Black Friday approaches in his column from The Guardian:
When I got the winter Patagonia catalog in the mail, I was delighted to read an essay by Bob Massie called The Parable of the Iron Pan. Massie, an ordained minister, longtime environmentalist and president of the New Economics Institute writes about a 12-inch cast iron frying pan that he bought for $2 years ago at an estate sale. He reckons that the pan was 90 years old then, and that he has cooked with it for another 35 years. Today, he writes, it is half as old as the United States.Gunther published a follow-up on his blog, in which he discusses a Harris Tweed sport jacket that he purchased in the early 1980s and still wears today.
Bob goes on to say: "We must reject the ugly image that we are primarily consumers, a kind of warm-blooded locust whose purpose is to chew through the planet. We must lighten the pressure on the world and on ourselves. We must conserve what we love and build what will last."
What wise and timely advice, with the holiday shopping madness almost upon us. If we are going to give gifts (or ask for them), we would do well to think about gifts that last.