Hold onto your rolling eyeballs.
You ever stop to think why the news runs on blood and embarrassment? Why the tabloids are all about someone’s fat but or whose cheating who? Which divorce is the biggest blow up? Why do some people feel so much pressure to catch eyes whether with outrageous behavior, tattoos, increasingly large gauge earrings? (Don’t get upset, I’m not necessarily against any of those things, but I’m saying, they seem to be about catching attention. I mean its fairly obvious.)
Is it a leap that people don’t really think too much of themselves? Oh, sure, lip service gets paid to this self-esteem problem, and we’re constantly told while people are committed atrocities against each other, what a glorious thing humanity is. But why would we have to keep putting on a new coat of paint if the old one was so great? Why do have to so many people being paid (teachers, psychologists, politicians to their constituents, hollywood) to tell people their so great, if everyone already believed it?
The saddest part about it, is that the world has had so little success in combating this. Of course, it should be no surprise. The main religion of the civilized world says you are just a cosmic accident. In fact, for many of us, there are large swaths of the world that says we shouldn’t even have existed. Our lives aren’t worth the widening of humanities carbon footprint. And that seems to be the message it says, over and over.
While one part of the mouth says, “You’re so wonderful . . . for an accident.” The other part says, no one can be expected to live their whole life with you because you’re not worth that much. If you’re a child, then you’re not really worth too much of your parents time, so we have to plan where we can fit you into our comfortable lives, and of course, who will take care of you for most of your years? And as much as we love you, it’s not enough to stay with the man/woman who helped us bring you into the world, because, well he/she wasn’t worth it either.
Then we have our magazines telling us all that’s wrong with the way we look and how we can measure up. Our educators saying we’re so great, but we’re wasting ourselves if we don’t utilize our potential as they calculate it.
It just seems there’s so much of the world telling us the opposite of what it preaches. That we’re really not worth it. No wonder then that skulls are part of our clothing, we drink venom, we paint our faces, and all our stories are really about finding some meaning in our existence.
It makes me think how important it must have been for God to put in the very first chapter of His book that we were created to be in His Image. A doctrine which, illustratingly, the world rejects. It can’t believe that these “great” people came from a loving creator instead of a freak accident with apes.
To think, God created you to be like Him. For the finite to share qualities of the infinite. To be meant for a destiny that, like its author, is great.
It seems to me, the only way we will ever learn to make any good out of this “love thy neighbor” business, is if we learn the second bit about “as yourself.” And I don’t know how we get there without believing God’s truth that we really are something special. Not that somehow undermines our need for redemption. On the contrary, only if we are great is our loss so profound. And only if our loss is profound is the need for redemption also so.