We are becoming a nation of mobile-renters. We have joined a gig economy. We use ride-shares. We rent office space. We rent housing. We rent mobile offices. We own less and less—we do not even own our e-books and e-media which often revert back to the copyright holder at our death. A video game no longer has a box. It is a digital download.
The World Economic Forum tells us we will own nothing and be happy. Ida Auken said, “Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better.” Or as their marketing said, “You will own nothing. And you’ll be happy.”
Governments have done little to avoid this future. The Canadian government has promised $10 a day of childcare. This makes it easier for both parents to work, which they will have to do in order to pay for the taxes to support childcare. Single-income families will not be able to afford houses. And if both parents work, there is less need to have a standard home. Besides, who can afford one? Renting is the way to go. The USA has likewise pulled back on supporting families through financial support for children or support for longer maternity leave.
The way in which we work has also contributed to this alienation from home, possessions, and family. For most of history, agricultural workers worked as a family. Everyone worked at home. Husbands and wives with children in appropriate ways supported the family. In the Roman era, many businesses were part of a residence. So a husband might work at the front of the home, a wife inside the residence. They partnered in appropriate ways.
But now the nature of work, a movement from working with our hands to work with our digits—pressing buttons, digital work—has alienated us from the land, the fabric of the world around us. [Read more…] about Owning Less, But Experiencing More: A Theological Crisis in the Making