Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Value of Service, The Value of Charity

When I visit the grocery store to shop for food, I like to see smiling faces and helpful employees.  But at some popular shops this is disappearing.
At a good bakery the expert on bread, cakes and pastries is available to
offer advice, answer questions and recommend products.
There is variety and beauty to satisfy our souls as well as our bodies.

Some stores, increasingly it seems, are offering efficiency and cheap prices over service.
Why is this important or concerning you might ask?  I asked myself the same thing.  I like good deals and I obviously don't want to spend more than I have to on my weekly groceries.  But one big thought flashes before me: CHARITY!

If we want a sustainable economy, then we need to care about each other!  We must understand clearly that our worth as eternal souls is much more than simple monetary value.

But when the food industry is run by huge chains who measure their worth in cash, we loose the quality of service.  It is common sense that since the owners and managers and employees don't really know each other, they are much less likely to care about each other.  And not knowing us apart from our credit cards, do they care about the customers either?

Another huge compromise is going to be quality!  The best baker, butcher and candlestick maker in town cannot be afforded by a huge grocery store chain blinded by dollar signs.  Instead, they will probably ship in baked goods and produce from out of state and maybe even meat and dairy from hundreds of miles away!  This is not an issue when we're actually seeking after a good product.  But the big chains thrive on cheap processed foods from highly efficient manufacturers that will stay preserved; they compromise the quality and freshness that contribute to nutrition, taste and appearance.  (Have you ever stood in the bread isle and wondered why there are 50 versions of the exact same awful bread?)  Of course I know we have been doing this for years now, but the outsourcing is getting worse and the worse it gets, the more the quality suffers.

Are robots cheaper than people?  I'm not an expert on this but considering all the self-checkouts and automatic price-checkers in stores, we certainly seem to be moving in this direction.

The big chains thrive on cheap processed foods from highly
efficient manufacturers that will stay preserved;
they compromise the quality and freshness that contribute to
nutrition, taste and appearance.
So if there are fewer employees in the grocery store because employees cost more than robots, we don't have people to help us or answer our questions.  We are more likely to grab what we need and go.  There are fewer conversations and words exchanged because we don't know the people who are checking us out.  We don't have time to talk about new recipes and exotic foods!  And this is all in the store's better immediate interest because being highly efficient and cutting the costs of service means more profits!

I am not anti-capitalist.  We live in a pretty great economy where capitalism gives us lots of freedom for wealth and opportunities for success.  But is there a limit?

The limit seems to be when our wonderful free economy ceases to care about charity.  We don't really care anymore and proportionally to this callous attitude falls the quality of products, the quality of service.  Simple wealth is valued over the grace filled potential of charity!  We no longer buy from the local craftsmen, instead opting to save a few dollars.  But what will this benefit us in the long run?  Not the immeasurable riches of good friends and neighbors!  And we probably won't remember all the good deals we got when we are old.

We must ask ourselves, do we care?  I took the children to our local grocery store recently and the bakery lady gave them each a freshly baked, prettily decorated cookie complete with kind words.  As we left, the employees helped to pack my groceries into the van.  They demonstrated the value of service!  Do we seek after the excellence even in little things, that has always trademarked Christian civilization?  Are we willing to pay for fine products and skills and helpfulness?  Do we support a sustainable, natural economic order?  Or do we run through the grocery store grabbing the cheapest products, not willing to pay for something impossible to put a price tag on- are we not willing to pay for charity?

The value of service is the value of charity.

If you want to hear about organic Christian society from an expert, read Return to Order!

What do you think?

4 comments:

  1. Social Capital, the un quantified value of social networks within regions, between people and businesses is not a dollar amount. But it does create trust among people which is excellent for the economy. When this social capital is mixed with charity and a love of ones work, a family-like atmosphere enshrouds society and makes simple things like grocery shopping a pleasant experience and a pathway to find God.

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    1. Well you seem to be heavily invested in social capital, possibly even the local George Bailey... I truly got lucky or maybe God has blessed us!! Thanks for the comment. ♡♡♡♡

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  2. What a great post. A society is nothing but relationships and social and family ties. When we reduce everything to its monetary value, as libertarians and socialists both do, it makes life cold, isolating, hyper-individualistic, lonely, and ultimately miserable.

    Charity is rare today not only because our economy and society is structured against it, but because people have abandoned religion, specifically Catholicism. Love of neighbor is only possible with love of God, and His justice. People today don't love God, and therefore don't even love their own children (they abort them instead), much less their neighbor. Therefore, it isn't surprising that your average worker (or average customer) doesn't have charity.

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    Replies
    1. This is so true that all charity begins in love of God. Beyond abortion, I see parents increasingly being unwilling to care for thier children. At all the playgrounds, playgroups I attend it's grandma's taking charge of the children...this is disconcerting. Apparently without love of God our generation does not care about anyone.

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