Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We are not commodities...we are human beings

Tonight as I was driving home I turned on NPR and heard part of a very interesting address on the state of our culture. I think it might have been Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges. No matter what it was I was struck by how absolutely it nailed our western (specifically American) view of life as being completely marketable in every aspect. Much of what I heard centered around Michael Jackson as the personification of this insidious cultural ethos. Central to this ethos is the notion that something only has value and worth because it is marketable. Anything that isn't marketable contains no value. While my heartbroke hearing this reality clearly articulated, especially since I want to work in an industry that is responsible for the mass distribution of this ethos, I was also challenged by the desire to work against this evil and insidious under belly. We don't have to buy into the cult of commodity.

Ultimately we have the power to change this which we think we are powerless against. Yet like becoming more green, more aware of the needs of our global and local brothers and sisters, or becoming more aware of seeking justice it will cost. Unlike what we are mostly told change costs. To do something for the betterment of another will demand something of us, will demand something of me. So often we ask whether or not the risk and the cost is worth it. I do every time I encounter a situation where I am given the chance to act or to ignore. But is your life that trivial? No, so then why is the life of another. I know so often I don't live as I would like to...taking costs so that I may bless others even though I know that when I do I learn so much and am in turn so blessed by the act of seeing another person as intrinsically valuable. I hope that we will soon shake off out 24 hr cult of the impossible perfect, the new, the meticulously crafted celebrity and instead enter into a place where every one is intrinsically valuable because they are.

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