I love a challenge. I have this propensity for finding the hardest thing I can do, and then pushing myself to do it. I also have a love/hate relationship with the internet. And depending on the day, it can go either way.
While the internet has become the playground of pedophiles, porn, and spam, at times, it allows us to peer into the lives of those making a difference, those who are doing things that truly matter. And it inspires us to do the same.
This semester, I am challenging my Christian Ethics 10 students to reflect on what deeply matters. This is a generation that has been raised to be consumers from birth, and have likely rarely paused to consider a different way. Teenagers, like many adults, tend to define themselves by what they own, or more precisely what they wear.
Enter two websites that I love. Six items or less and The Great American Apparel Diet. Six items or less challenges people to choose and wear only six clothing items for a month. That’s it. Your items must suffice for work, play and evenings out. The Great American Apparel Diet raises the bar and challenges participants to give up buying clothes for an entire year. And each site provides a platform to blog the journey.
Last week I challenged my students to participate in both. In all honesty. I basically dared them. I want to see who has the Chutzpah to give this a whirl. Both of these experiments will teach much more that I can even imagine at this point, in regards to identity and consumerism. Maybe this is part of the process of my classroom becoming more like an apprenticeship.
I am also fully aware that I cannot ask this of my students, if I’m not willing to participate in this journey myself. I am. I’ll keep you posted.
Photo used under creative commons from digicla