Dreary’s In … July 8, 2012

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I think I have prepared myself to be considered the proverbial “stick in the mud.”

For in our present social structure, any attempt to question existing forces of power and money does generate grumbling and accusations of provincialism and censorship. By no means do I believe that any government, institution or political influence should censor the freedoms in our country. I’m just a little curious whether we might like to perform a little self-censorship for the “good of the hood.” Because whatever we are currently doing in the realm of entertainment, spirituality, education and corporate advertising–it is doing very little to encourage the populace, but instead, is producing a dreariness among the citizenry.

The new favorite color seems to be gray. It is shown forth in our mood, our clothing, our attitudes and our indifference towards both God and our fellow-man. How did we get here? How did we get to the point where happiness, joy and a good outlook on life is viewed as infantile? Why is it necessary to define the action of growing up as being permitted entrance to movies where worse and worse atrocities are committed in the name of “realism?”

I’m a bit confused. But still, I have no intention of being dreary? If you are a politician and wish to alarm me with facts about the injustice of the opposing party, I will turn a deaf ear in your direction. If you are a minister who senses that the only way to gain my fervor is by declaring war on the world around you and preparing for Armageddon, I will probably pass on your passages.

I have no intention of being part of a society that not only plans its own demise, but marches towards it, waving a ten-dollar bill for admission. Here is what I feel is creating the dreariness in our society:

1. Using our entertainment, books and even many discussion groups to mingle sex and violence. Sex and violence are not related in any way. Sex is the presence of pleasure; violence is the absence of the same. When you begin to believe that these two can intersect and intercourse, you have created an atmosphere of danger for women and certainly abuse for children. Yes–don’t sit and watch the case of a pedophile being acted out on the television news and pretend to be shocked if you are viewing other so-called entertainment programs which present these same deeds as the fodder for storyline. It is damned hypocritical.

2. Our nation has become dreary because we blur light and dark. The explanation for light is rather simple–light illuminates with the goal to teach something better. Dark blackens, to eliminate learning, absorbing the status quo. It doesn’t matter if you are religious or non-religious. If your material presents a bleak message of doom and gloom, you are completely eradicating the possibility for repentance, which is central to the theme of the gospel. We cannot continue to pretend that the world is dark, insisting that we’re merely portraying “reality,” when light and possibility are still available. You also cannot isolate the underbelly of society, bringing it to the forefront under the guise of producing knowledge, and think that you are performing a service to mankind. Human beings need light. Without it, they become paranoid and depressed.

3. Dreariness is caused by being ignorant of the difference between human and inhuman. In the course of one evening’s offerings on television, paraded before me will be a cavalcade of all sorts of atrocities. I am led to believe that these are a major part of human behavior which must be included as discussable, if not acceptable. No thanks. I understand there are people who are hurt, abused, wounded and mentally ill, who certainly need our time and attention. What they don’t need is a screenplay written about them.

Human is finding God in our image; inhuman is denying God in our possibility. It really is as simple as that.

If at the end of the day, I believe that human beings are more likely to do evil than good, then I have ingested poison into my spirit that will certainly give me indigestion.

4. And finally, our political, entertainment and even educational systems seem incapable and confused about the difference between decent and descent. Decent is any adventure, idea, proclamation, speech or sermon that instructs and encourages people to include others. Descent is an attempt to reverse evolution in our species and return us to a jungle mentality, where we always choose to be selfish. If you are watching entertainment or reading propaganda telling you that hoarding for your own concerns is normal human behavior, then you most certainly will start making choices which fail to recognize the needs of those around you. Racism is not maintained in this country because regions of our nation are promoting the cause. Racism is maintained because there is an undercurrent of selfishness that makes us believe that only our personal families matter, and everyone else needs to be shoved to the back of the bus. Once we accept that “decent” is not necessary, but rather, a high-sounding virtue, and we are given permission to be self-involved, the descent into nastiness and bigotry is the bottom of the slippery slope.

I do not believe you can solve your problems in a cloud of dreariness. I do not think that being mature means walking around with a forced sober-mindedness and frowning countenance. I believe that these things have come upon us because we’ve allowed our society to pummel us with negative images of the human spirit under the banner of creative license and introspection.

  • Hurrah to sex! And boo to violence.
  • Show me the light, even if there’s some darkness we have to escape to get there.
  • Edify me with images of human beings superseding the world around them to find the God within them.
  • And please, show me the decency of those who are part of the human family, and have actually reached out to welcome others.

You can continue to be dreary if you want to. You can insist that you do so because you’re more intellectual than I am, and open to “broader ideas.” But Jesus told us the broad path leads to destruction. Sometimes, to find beauty, you have to narrow your vision and look at things that sparkle instead of spit in your eye.

That is my choice. How about you?

Like many other things in the past–such as prejudice, bigotry, fear, anger and selfishness–I am going to choose to pass on the current trend: to be dreary. I am prepared to be accused of being out of step. Because to me, being out of step with this particular army is good … for they seem to be marching toward our destruction.

   

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