Toys for us and others

This will be the first Christmas in a long while without retailer Toys R Us, who went out of business. Or, as my youngest son aptly called it when he was a younger, “Toys for us.” The “Toy Story” movies register the impact of the store on our lives.

Toys are no longer for kids and sometimes disguise themselves as what they are – useful products. A mobile phone is far more than a phone, but the “wanna new phone” marketing that occurs is estimated to cost a user $75,000 over a lifetime. Do you have to have the latest and greatest new phone? Just think, if you skip a few new phone upgrades, you reduce that number a great deal.

But, while our younger generation is accused of a more materialistic mindset, I must confess how proud I am of kids who are making statements on the need to address better gun governance and action to combat climate change. Yesterday, in Australia, tens of thousands of kids age 5 to 18 boycotted school to protest en masse for more action on climate change. While their President and lead environmental person said these kids should stay in school to learn something, I think these two men need to learn a few things.

Earlier this year, we saw kids make a huge difference in Florida when the state legislature passed a few gun governance bills in the wake of the Parkland shooting. Could the legislature have done more? Yes, but the kids forced them to act. The kids live in fear and are not burdened with lobbyist dollars and threats as are the legislators.

Toys are important as a distraction and even to make our devices more utile. Yet, these kids stepped up and made their voice heard. Given what they are protesting, it would behoove the legislators to listen. “They ain’t playing.”

5 thoughts on “Toys for us and others

  1. Note to Readers: I watched a touching Austin City Limits this afternoon starring Cyndi Lauper. I was impressed by the wide range of ages of the audience, with several pre-teens right up front singing word for word. I was impressed with her prelude discussion before her unaccompanied finale of “True Colors.” She spoke of valuing our diversity and being brave enough to be who you are. The reaction to her words and songs were both exciting and poignant.

  2. Thought-provoking post, Amigo! Far too many people are not able to differentiate between ‘need’ and ‘want’. A car may be a necessity for most people, but if a $400 repair will keep the old one running for another year or so, why spend upwards of $12,000 for a new one … even more if one insists on all the latest bells & whistles? Same with a cell phone or a computer … take care of what you have, make it last. Planned obsolescence is one of the dirtiest tricks manufacturers use, along with targeted advertising, to convince people that they ‘need’ to upgrade to ‘bigger and better’. And far too many fall for it. Like you, though, I am pleased to see that the young people’s eyes are being opened to the more important things in life, that there is yet hope to reverse some of the materialism and shallowness that has crept into modern life.

    • Thanks Jill. The term “planned obsolescence” is apt. I have one of those decisions in front of me now. A service provider has offered a new thing are way to high a cost. I said you are forcing me to get other quotes and look at other options. They then gave me a cheaper option, but still did not speak to trying to repair it than replace it. Thanks, Keith

      • Funny how those threats to “look elsewhere” suddenly help the salesman remember that he has a new deal, isn’t it? You might do well to see if there is an independent repairer of the object in question, for any affiliated with the company will do their best to manipulate you. The honest salesman is a rare find … I have come across a few in my day, but not many, and not recently. Capitalism at its finest. Sigh.

      • Jill, too true. It seems everyone has a vested interest, so bias seeps into advice.

        As a retired client manager for a professional services firm, I valued long term rejectionships, so it behooved me to try to put client interests ahead of my company’s. That is hard to do, when a company is pushing revenue increases. Generally, our company had very good consultants, so I tended to offer their services more when I client has an actual or possible need. For those services we were less good at, I would tend not to push those. Doing a less than quality job for a client is not conducive to future sales.


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