Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Ring Part 2-I Could Have Done More

Beyond the issue of conflict stones is another issue.  It’s the issue of spending extravagant sums of money on a status symbol.  The power of a ring to be a symbol of commitment and fidelity is not dependent on the amount spent on it.  Nor does it indicate the degree of love that one has for another. 

Jamie and I made a second decision that we wouldn’t “buy into” the standards set across our country for engagement ring expenditures.  One reason is because of financial feasibility—why should we go into debt for something if we can prevent it.  The second reason compels us more strongly than potential debt.  If you’ve ever seen the movie Schindler’s List, you might know what I mean.  At the end of the movie, Oskar Schindler, while standing amid a group of thankful Jewish Holocaust survivors, begins to lament the things he didn’t do.  He looks at his pin and tells them that it could have saved another life, and then he looks at his car and says, “this could have been ten more lives.”  He breaks down in the arms of one of the Jews he had saved lamenting, “I could have done more!”  Every time I see that clip, I think about the wastes we take part in on a daily basis.  Jamie and I decided not to spend a bunch of money on a ring, when we could use the same money to help our global neighbors who are living in extreme poverty.  We’ve both heard all of the arguments—“It’s an investment!” “You will have this your entire life!” “It’s a way of communicating your love for one another!”  We believe that the symbol of the ring still has it’s same power whether we spend $50 or $5000 for it. 

Every time Jamie or myself look at the ring, or share the story with another person, it’s a reminder to us and to them, that we are building the foundation of our relationship on principled decisions, on our love for each other emanating from a love for God and overflowing to allow us to love our fellow human beings.

If you made a different decision for your engagement ring, this post isn’t to make you feel guilty.  Rather, if you haven’t made this decision yet, then we would like to encourage you to think about the good you could do by resisting some of the traditions of the past and trends of the present. No matter what, it's always a good process to evaluate what we use our resources in this world.

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