A thrill-filled-living of highs. The need to avoid a boring-samey-predictable-suffocating-rat-race we are taught to buy-into … the career, the slippery corporate ladder, the wedding + 2.4 children, the sensible car, the sensible house, the sensible routine, the sensible way to dying of boredom!
And now we have the millennials – the latest marketing category (so marketing can be easily targeted and always relevant). And the trend for holiday destinations now influenced by “instagram profiling” – less “does this look good on me” more “this place looks good with me posed all over it!”
There is a lot of hate in the world.
There used to be a progression of young to old. Older meant a quieter living. A living less shouty and noisy. The young did all that. Except now parents are still shouty and noisy and whooping it up all over the world (as the “silver-surfer” marketing proclaims). The world is weird! Endless comeback tours from aged pop-stars. Politicians never too old to run a country for the young. Childbirth now a planned interruption to a full and fulfilling lifestyle. Parenting more and more a paid-for service of child-minding and government subsidy (as the marketing would have us believe).
There is a lot of anger in the world.
I look around and see so much to criticise. So much to point my finger at. So much to be cynical of. So much reason to find an “alternative” to this consumerism now with “green credentials” (to validate the necessary consumer consumption).
And yet …
I was taught all that. We are taught all this. We are sucked-into this being the only way to live. Taught the fear of being left out … of not fitting-in … of not having it all … of not having all I could and should have (as directed by popular fashion trends and slick marketing campaigns).
I was taught to fear missing out. I was taught to fear speaking out. I was taught someone will hurt me. I was taught someone will reject me … label me “odd” … take away all the good things (I have worked for and earned). I was taught to consume and I like “consuming”.
And now my role model is Jesus.
I like Jesus whether or not it is proven he did or did not exist, did or did not rise from the dead, is or is not the Son of God, was or was not born of immaculate conception, did or did not die for my sins … There is too much religion wrapped up in all of that … too many interested parties … too many labels and hate and fear involved … too much membership and having to believe the right beliefs. I like Jesus because I see something else …
There is a lot of love in the world.
Jesus teaches me not to fear and not to hate … to have compassion and humanity … that I can make a difference just by being me. He teaches me that I am connected to others … connected to you and you to me … that we are all One together. He teaches that living IS loving and loving IS living … that I don’t need twenty different words for twenty different kinds of “love” to actually know what “love” is.
Love is compassion – Love is needless – Love is eternal.
There is so much hope in this world.
In our car-park I see young people who smoke weed (like I smoked “ordinary cigarettes”), who are irreverent and rude (as I used to be), who have as much energy AND as much trauma in day-to-day to day living as I had. And these young people accept this world as their opportunity (just as we all did). And they bring hope, joy, and energy – a knowing of injustice – an awareness of inhumanity – and a compassion (we oldies think they don’t).
There is a so much “future” in this world.
In our back garden I see our young grandchildren offer a wondrous “wow” at the sight of a snail halfway up a bush – they offer wonder and wows to so much – never being burdened by “how” or “why” or “but” – just full of “wow!!!”
That is our future – a future being made (rather than lost).
That is my role model in Jesus … a future being made today be me … that love is all around … that I am more than I have been taught by this world … that I am connected … which all means that …
I am free to be so much more than I was taught I shouldn’t.