My church has recently done a series on damaged emotions. Emotions like anger, crisis, guilt and the alike. The visual that was used to illustrate this point was a rock. Each week as we discussed the damaged emotion our rock became bigger until finally on Easter Sunday we saw how Jesus’ death rolled the stone away. The rock essentially was our sin. The stone being rolled away, Jesus dying on the cross and the resurrection, gives us the opportunity to experience joy.
It really started me thinking about how empty our lives are. I don’t have exact stats but it seems like I can name at least 10 people within my somewhat small circle of friends that is on some sort of anti-depressant. Seriously. It’s unsettling. We, as a society, don’t deal with our problems, issues, hurdles, whatever. We medicate. Some visit their family practitioner. Others visit their local bar. How many people do you know who throw themselves into their work?  Don’t forget the ones that buy toys to pamper and comfort themselves because they can’t find a happiness that lasts. Some visit their computers and pine away their time. Still others use illegal substances. These are the ways that we hide our pain.
I’m not really sure why our society is unhappy. The US is one of the more wealthy countries in the world. The majority of us wake up with at least change in our pockets. There are many people who can’t say that. Most of us have a roof over our heads. Again, we are so fortunate. We live for the most part without fear even in a post 9/11 society. We have rights and liberties that others could only dream about.
There is only one person to blame and that is you. Our society has moved from “me” to you. Retail shops will ask for YOUR opinion on their service. How many TV station have a series of stories just for YOU. Burger King says have it YOUR way. Not how the burger was created or designed but we will make it to YOUR exacting specifications. Think about how many times we try to change to substitute the entrees at restaurants. Menus sometimes say YOUR choice of—–. Talk to YOUR doctor. YOUtube.
I was recently reading as article that was discussing the “you” ( if I could remember who wrote the article I most certainly give the author credit.) and it made the point that vacation spots use the “you” in their ads and when was the last time the sandy beaches of Jamaica were empty just for “you”. Thousands of those ads were printed and distributed. How many resorts are blocking the sun on those vacation spots made just for “you”? How many times have you driven to another state to see a sign that says “Kansas welcomes you” or “Colorful Colorado welcomes you”.
I thought about blaming “You” but then I thought about a friend of mine in Colorado. He often says, “Help yourself.” Maybe all of this is his fault. No, not really. When did we start focusing on ourselves?
I happen to work in a retail environment. Some days I have the pleasure of working with brides and their mothers. If you have read some of my blog postings, you can sort of figure out that I’m not very high maintenance. That doesn’t mean I don’t have expectations. I have listened to brides rationalize the spending of unbelievable amounts of money. The main focus of the rationalization is convenience.
A couple years back, I was working with a bride who was complaining how much the wedding was costing. She and her husband-to-be were splitting the costs with their parents. She said that her share was nearly $50,000. She went on to explain that her wedding and engagement rings alone were nearly $12,000. She wanted to give nice gifts to the guests so she had engraved frames made. Her wedding program was over 20 pages long with letters to each member of the bridal party tied with sheer ribbon. She wanted the room to be set up perfectly so she was hiring a team of people to go in and set up the reception area for convenience. She didn’t want her bridesmaids to have to worry about that. They were supposed to be taking care of her on her big day. I don’t know, ego much? She continued to rattle off a list of spending that seemed to go on and on.
Life is too short to be focusing on ourselves. When we learn as a society that there is more to life than what is in the bank or what appears to be in the bank the better off we will be.