As a management major, part of my business core is Principles of Marketing. So far, I have gotten quite frustrated in every marketing class this semester. Why? Not just because the professor is unnecessarily intimidating (but thinks he’s HILARIOUS and so cool with his iPhone). I get frustrated because of questions the professor asks and people’s responses to those questions. Our professor has asked us questions like, “You all want to be in the upper class, right? Middle class? You don’t want to get stuck in the lower class.” Assuming that we all want to make millions of dollars, have multiple luxurious houses, and the most expensive cars. Sadly, I’m pretty sure most of the class is all for that. Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with making a lot of money…it’s just in our motives for wanting to make that money.
It was just a couple of years ago when I was in high school that I wanted all of this. I wanted to be a CEO-type (preferably of Chic-fil-A) and make money. I didn’t really have anything planned out after that. When I was younger, I used to wanted to go to Georgia Tech, be an architectural or structural engineer, make a lot of money, retire, and be a middle school counselor or special ed teacher. I wanted to make money, and not for any reason in particular–I just wanted to have it. I wanted to have a comfortable life…I wanted to make money, THEN help others (granted, this little life plan did develop in elementary school).
But back to my professor’s comment–what’s wrong with the lower class? I think you can be in the lower class and not feel “stuck.” Sure, it might be difficult to buy a beach house and an Audi. But that doesn’t mean you have to feel like you’re stuck. I’m going to be honest with you. I sometimes wish I didn’t have all that I do. I am so tired of the “American Dream” that has been so inflated and blown out of proportion. We just want so much. We want more and more. We’re never satisfied. I say “we” because I am just as subject to the materialism that is the American Dream. Whenever I get all worked up about this (which I do–quite a bit…especially when I watch things like “Toddlers and Tiaras”), I take a breath and remember that I’ve been blessed with all that I have for a reason. That reason is not for me. It’s not so that I can eat Chick-fil-A every single day or buy 3 new t-shirts a week (as much as I would love to do these things), it’s so that I can bless others with it. It’s for the orphan in Bolivia, the single mother of eleven in Africa. Not for me…not for me at all.
Back to marketing…one day in class, my professor was talking about different generations and how our generation (what up, Generation Y) tends to want to move to the cities, away from the suburbs. My response (not to the whole class, just under my breath) was something along the lines of, “I want to live in a slum or in a hut.” My professor, who is from India, would probably be aghast if he knew that I wasn’t just willing to do something like live in a slum in India, but even more so that I would be excited about it. I’m sure the majority of the class would feel the same way as him. I really couldn’t handle a ten bedroom mansion with a five car garage filled with BMWs, Porsches, and Hummers. Now obviously that’s a bit excessive (okay, really excessive). But still….living in America for my whole life just isn’t an appealing thought.
Please don’t think I’m bashing America and regretting growing up here. I’m not. I love this country, and I love the principles it was founded on. I am well aware that there are needs here (and lots of them!). However, my heart is just drawn overseas. I know it’s not everyone’s calling to go live in a hut. I know it’s not everyone’s calling to be what’s considered a “missionary.” But you are a missionary. You can (and will!) be used where the Lord has you and where He puts you in the future. Even if you are the CEO of a major company, making millions a year, you can be used for the Kingdom. You’re put there for a reason. And I’m pretty sure that reason isn’t a garage full of top-of-the-line cars.
Maybe the fact that thoughts like this run through my head during marketing is why the test I had today seemed kind of difficult…