The One Thing We’ve Got to Stop Throwing Away

Disposable Diapers. They should definitely be thrown away after use. I’m pretty sure many a mother found these guys to be a game changer when they first came out. Now, most parents in America can’t imagine not using them. This is one disposable item that has proven itself to be incredibly helpful. Many disposable items are: Cotton balls, bottled waters, and microwave food packages to mention a few. (And, of course, we should “reduce, re-use, and recycle” when we can!)


But this blog isn’t about these types of things that add value to our lives that we may casually place in a trash can or blue bin. Rather, it’s about the one thing we all too often throw away when we shouldn’t. It’s something that has far more value and carries way more weight than any of these disposable items could ever contain.

I’m talking about people.

In our society, we treat people as if they are disposable. Marriages are ended without much thought. Babies are aborted because of a temporary crisis. The elderly sit lonely in their homes and nursing facilities. Children are abused. Friendships are forgotten about. Neighbors are ignored.

Clearly, not everyone falls into the camp of throwing away other people. Well, not as plainly as having an abortion or abusing a child. But, is it possible we all throw people away in other circumstances? When we fight with someone, do we decide they’re not worth fighting for? When we get busy, is the first thing we cut out of lives our friendships? Husband and wife not getting along…claim they’ve fallen out of love…wish they had married someone else? Do we view this as “no problem” and decide on a “no fault” divorce?

The reality is the throw away society is the fault of all of us. We have so greatly minimized the value of people that until they are born they are not even human. When they are disabled or can no longer contribute to society (based on how we define “contribute”), we can’t see their worth. Divorce is such a societal norm that it’s taboo to speak against it. And while there may be Biblical reasoning for divorce (just as there are for ending other relationships), certainly far more people get divorced than meet this criterion. We’re just so used to throwing people away.

The truth of the Bible is that God loves us all. Before He even created us, He knew us. He created us in His own image, and He certainly doesn’t view us as disposable. So, we shouldn’t view each other that way either. Instead, we should be looking at each other as image bearers of God…choosing life for the unborn, fighting for our marriages, visiting the home bound. We should also walk alongside those who are struggling as we work to reverse the course that our throw away society has chartered. Perhaps together, we can recognize the dignity and worth of all people and stop disposing people as if they are trash.

This article originally appeared at

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Dr. Laurel Shaler
Dr. Laurel Shaler is the author of author of "Reclaiming Sanity: Hope and Healing, for Trauma, Stress, and Overwhelming Life Events. She is a Licensed Social Worker and National Certified Counselor employed by Liberty University as a professor and department chair in the Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies. She is a former psychotherapist with the Department of Veterans Affairs, where she specialized in the treatment of trauma and anger. Dr. Shaler loves the Lord and seeks to help people at the intersection of faith, culture, and emotional well-being. You can learn more at her website or find her on Facebook or Twitter @DrLaurelShaler.