What Do We Value?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the news stories for the last few weeks. People killing strangers or loved ones from one coast to another- people still suffering and feeling abandoned after Sandy, people blaming the unions for their lost jobs, lost hopes, lost communities.

Mostly what I see are people blaming someone else or somewhere else for what is wrong with their lives. It’s the government’s fault. It’s the left agenda. It’s not having a ‘right to work’ state. The fiscal future of our government is in trouble. It’s got to be someone’s fault.

The more I look, the more I think it’s not a person or a government or a ‘thing’ or a company. It’s our values. Our values are broken.

We live in the fast food nation. We live in the McMansion world. We live in a world where it’s more important for people to have a nice house and new cars than to spend time with their children, their aging parents and their spouses. We live in a time where we care about ourselves more than anyone else. Where even if we have enough, even if we have too much, we don’t have enough to share.

We live in a time where helping people in other countries is seen as a negative thing, where we are isolated in our own world and no one else matters. I agree that helping those in your backyard is important, but we are citizens of the world, not just a city or state or country. We have to be or we won’t be able to live with one another.

We live in a society where people are dissected and segregated into groups and sub groups- and we judge them for what they do, or don’t do. We categorize sin and decide who to punish.

I do not advocate a faith. I don’t even think faith and values are the same thing. What I think we have to do, as a society, is stop for a moment and think about what we’re buying in to. Are we buying into a world where possessions are more valuable than people? Where we have to have the best and newest of everything, even if it means we can’t take care of those we love, our neighbors, those in need? Do we need to have an abundance of everything when there are people in the world who just want enough money to send their children to school? Do we need to have everything we want and not really care much that the person next door is doing without?

And I know the argument that people make is who is at fault. If they can’t make ends meet it’s their fault, it’s someone’s fault. Fault doesn’t matter a lot when the house is cold or if the refrigerator empty. Fault doesn’t matter to a child who can’t get what they need for school. Fault doesn’t matter if you can’t pay the rent, or the electricity.

Are we sidetracked by a society where you have to have it all to belong? Are people lashing out because they are tired, frustrated, stressed about paying it all- having it all- doing it all? Maybe what we need to do to fix all this is decide what we really value in the world. Because valuing money and power? Well, it gets you what we have now.

This is post 958 since the founding of this blog in March 2005.

1 comment :

  1. Anonymous8:11 PM

    Man is a social animal and his actions and behaviors are governed by the society he lives in.

    My values are the same the were 10-15 years ago.


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