Ending is Better Than Mending

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I love Brave New World--which is part of Sonlight's Core 300 program. I know it's not for everyone. My sister couldn't stand it and my wife hated the ending.

But me?

Totally enjoy it.

One of the government slogans used to train people how to act is the phrase "Ending is better than mending." Get rid of old stuff so you can buy new stuff. This keeps people working and makes the economic system thrive. For this post, it doesn't really matter if this thinking plays out in reality or not. What rankles every one of my recycling/repairing/reusing sensibilities is that, in many cases, this is an economic reality of today.

The Deltas and Gammas of Huxley's world have been replaced by computers and machines. And now it is often cheaper to buy a new computer, or camera, or gizmo than to pay someone to take the time to figure out what went wrong, purchase the piece that needs to be replaced and fix the thing.

In fact, judging by how much I pay for recycling, it's cheaper to produce boxes, bottles and cans from raw materials than to go through the hassle of collecting the finished product from in front of my house.

And that blows my mind.*

But I read an article today that confirms: It's often cheaper to replace than to repair. This has led to exactly what Huxley describes in his work. We are a culture of disposables. And this has profound impacts on the kinds of products we buy, what we expect of them, and how we see new brands. We're always open to the latest and greatest because we don't see much reason to stick with the old and busted.

"Tried and true" is often less important than the "latest and greatest." And with good reason: Very few things last long enough. We don't make 'em like we used to. [Aside: Even those phrases smack of social programing on par with Huxley's government.]

We must consider this reality here at Sonlight. We continue to improve our homeschool materials, but we're not going to completely change. What we have is guaranteed to let you and your family love to learn. Sonlight works, which is why we continue to use great books. But you'll get the most out of Sonlight when you keep reusing those books again and again.

And in that sense, ending is certainly not better than mending!

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

*Well, it almost makes sense when I have to fill up my car with gas again!

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