Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Definition Warp

Word: materialism

Definition: (from Preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts, and considerations, with a disinterest in or rejection of spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values.

Warp: I've heard this term used as defense against a host expecting a guest in their house to respect their property and possessions.

Example: Friends of ours were hosting a family for dinner. After repeated attempts to get the guest's children to be careful - the guests would not do it, you see - the kids finally damaged something. When the host called out the guests for not keeping a close eye on their kids - setting boundaries, respecting what wasn't theirs, etc. - one of the guests told the host that she was materialistic.

How's that? The issue was shifted from one of parental responsibility and discipline to one of materialism.

Let's turn this around...a co-worker of mine who is married, but childless, refuses to let her nieces and nephews have a drink anywhere but the kitchen table or dining room table. She catches grief about it from her family - she cares about her furniture and carpets more than the kids, blah, blah, blah. Funny thing is, it's the only house where the kids know the rules and gladly oblige. And she's the favorite aunt.

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