Memories shouldn’t have a big price tag

Our View

We look at fashion magazines such as Vogue and Bazaar and shake our heads in wonderment. Does all this merchandise actually have any meaning, or is it just keeping up with the image of popularity? We’re guessing that it is the latter.

Recently, Opinion Editor Monica Clark read the book Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. The main character is a collector; more specifically a collector of family things. He finds that the most important things to him are these seemingly meaningless and mundane objects that have a story behind them. To Jonathan, these mundane items are what ties him to the past, and through that, the present.

Today in America, we are obsessed with the commercialized world. We are constantly updating our phones, cameras, laptops, iPods, cars, clothes, shoes and jewelry all for the sake to have something new and shiny that will entertain and amuse us for a couple of days.

Clark remembers one Christmas when she was a child and had asked for an awesome toy that she saw on TV that looked completely cool. It was all she could think about before Christmas, and when she opened it up and started playing with it on Christmas morning, the toy turned out to be a waste of money.

Before Clark left this past summer for France and a job at Okoboji, she got together with her closest friend. To her surprise, she was given a going away present. It was a box filled with quotes and little thoughts for her to open up when feeling homesick over the long summer. To Clark, this gift was priceless, and she wouldn’t have given it up for the world. She says she would have given up every Christmas toy to keep that one inexpensive gift.

Everyone should look up to the people in our lives that put emphasis on the really important things — not commercialized merchandise, but memories that will be much more important years down the road.

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