What about _(fill-in-the-blank) ? Sound familiar? Most frequently argued questions begin with the phrase: What about. It can be wielded like a social shield keeping involvement at arms’ length.
For example, if you are a homeschooler, have been a homeschooler, have met a homeschooler, or just heard about homeschooling, you have probably heard the question, What about socialization? Being a concerned parent, you’ve probably asked it yourself.
Socialization has become the buzz word for those who question homeschooling’s effectiveness. The question has become a FAQ.
It’s become a FAQ: Frequently Argued Question.
Operation Christmas Child’s FAQ is …
What about materialism?
How do we answer that? We are sending goodies in a shoebox to countries who have very little. Aren’t we spreading materialism?
I approach the Operation Christmas Child question the way I have approached the socialization question, trying to keep my audience in mind, knowing that I’ve wrestled the same beast.
Just for Clarification
FAQ: Frequently Argued Question
What We Fear We Question
Yes, that’s pretty much coming right out of the gate, isn’t it? 🙂
But sometimes, we ask the wrong question.
Regarding OCC: We fear spreading materialism because we fear materialism.
So, we ask the question: What about materialism?
But the real question is: What are material goods for?
To raise our standard of living? To have more than the next guy? Or to love God and those He loves?
The Socialization-Materialism Similarity
Can you see the similarity to the Homeschool FAQ: What about socialization?
Regarding HS: We fear socialization because we are afraid of socialization.
So, we ask the question: What about socialization?
The real question is: What is the purpose of socialization?
To claw our way to the top?* Or to love God and those He loves?
Answers Not Provided
Did you notice I didn’t answer the OCC FAQ?
That’s because the original question is faulty.
Until we establish the purpose of material goods in our own lives, we will run around the circle of materialism.
Once we understand the purpose of material goods – in light of God’s Word – we won’t need to ask the question: What about materialism?
We will ask: How can I use this material good for God’s ultimate good, bringing the lost to the cross, to His presence forever?
While we are here, we can also exchange the word, socialization, for the phrases, material goods and materialism, making our homeschool point, too. 🙂
REALITY CHECK: *I was asked once – challenged, I should say – by a teacher at a playground when my homeschooled children were young: What about socialization? How will your children learn to fight? Or to stand in line? Isn’t that what families and post offices are for?