Friday, April 28, 2006


Garbology. William Rathje started the garbology project while a professor at University of Arizona. Garbology is the study of a society by examining what it discards.

Archaeologist know that what remains at a civilization’s refuse area is sometimes the only evidence of their lives. When no writings or buildings remain, these discards are valuable findings. Such items as broken tools and pottery, and fragments of furnishings offer a glimpse into ancient cultures.

The word “garbology” caused me to think about other discards of life. Oh, not the stuff that we set on the curb for the sanitation department to cart away. I’m thinking about the personal choices we make about what is worthy. I’m pondering what people cast away as unimportant? And what those castoffs say about an individual or society?

Shame is one of the things that can be laid aside. Blushes seem not to happen as often these days. Skin is in. A great grandmother’s face might flush crimson if she revisited in the summer of 2006. Grandpa’s, too.

Chastity—described by Encarta Dictionary as “the practice of abstaining from sex on moral grounds,” is a past virtue for some. God’s definitioin is to save sex for marriage—for the home and society’s good.

Guilt can be shrugged off. Personal wrongdoings are blamed on parents, schools, churches, and government. The late Flip Wilson’s line “The devil made me do it” is alive and well: only the subject has changed.

The unborn can be legally discarded in the United States.

Arrogant minds toss aside “unworthy” people. If someone’s accomplishments or lack of achievements don’t fit the prescribed niche of the prideful mind, then they are written off, or worse yet, treated with contempt.

Discipleship Magazine reported that the word “integrity” was the word most often looked up in online dictionaries. That’s good. When integrity is defined in lives, then there will be less disposal of morals, values and people. No garbage left behind.

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6).

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