Freedom from Disquiet

It’s interesting to me that today in the West, a substantial portion of the population apparently believes that they have an innate right to not be exposed to anything that upsets them – be it KAG hats, critical commentary (social media posts?) on their ideas, objective description of our real history, moral values… whatever.

It’s no secret where this idea comes from.  It is what these people have heard from their teachers and, in many cases, parents for their whole lives.  If your whole existence has been informed that your happiness and well-being is the preeminent concern of those around you, but you then discover that not everyone feels that way – either about you, as a person, or your views to be continually upheld as worthy or good or kind or compassionate – then you will quite naturally rebel against those who are not, intrinsically, in support of you. 

Maybe you’ll label what they have to say “hate”.  Maybe you’ll look at their values and causes and conclude that they are on the wrong side of the political divide between your side and their side.  And, if you have a bit of radical bent, perhaps you’ll even feel justified in taking to the streets to create a little mayhem to express your frustration with these people who, gosh darn it, just won’t affirm you or what you believe.

What’s Changed?

Compared to the generations raised from 50-70 years ago, what has changed is the incessant messaging to young people of their value, their worth, completely independent of their measurable performance.  The idea that created this approach to education is not (and I repeat, NOT) all bad.  There are, in fact, some seeds of positive human development in there.

But the message has been put forth without any context.  Rather than saying: “Yes, but look at all the things you do have going for you, and that you can build on”, the “victim” reacts to the challenge thinking they must immediately identify those responsible for their “disrespect”, or lack of affirmation, and lash out at them to reestablish their own self-image.

Fifty years ago the message to this self-identified “victim” was “get over it!”  “The world is a tough place!  Pick yourself up and try harder next time.”  (Sometimes I’m left wondering how a High School football team today has any members other than “starters”.  What do today’s coaches tell the guys who are second and third stringers?  And how does that message square with the preeminent message they’re used to hearing from their environment?  Maybe football is an injection of reality into the young man’s life that actually is positive?)

What Will Change The Current Culture?

Sadly, nothing.  The young generations are who they are.  They have been created by their teachers and parents and supportive media, and they’re all done.

However, what will change future generations is a rational, honest presentation of reality.  Honesty will change the future.  Care for the true well-being of future generations – their ability to handle reality; their ability to overcome setbacks; their understanding of, commitment to, and appreciation for the sanctity of personal freedom – will change the future.

In order for the vast majority of teachers to present to their students a dispassionate description of reality will require a cultural tsunami.  These people (teachers) are (for whatever reason) absolutely committed to their worldview of individual, unequivocal self-worth.  If grades say otherwise, eliminate grades.  If financial success says otherwise, get rid of the winners.  If college admissions say otherwise, get rid of arbitrary, discriminatory rules of admission.  If life outcomes say otherwise, get rid of the cultural roadblocks that prevent anyone from attaining what anyone else attains.

This is Marxism.  It’s a different model and system than the model of “to each according to his (God-given) abilities” that has energized this society from its founding.  If no one has any incentive to strive, what then is the state of his society?  Where do the new symphonies come from?  Where do the next scientific breakthroughs come from?  Where do the advances in any one of a number of other performance-based pursuits come from?

There is one significant change that could, ultimately, lead to a different outcome.  Christ.

The message Christ brought (through His apostle Paul) was : ”There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  All are equal in Christ.  No more group identification.  No more faux personal worth.  Only if we are incapable of dissociating ourselves from our cultural narrative will we fail to recognize Christ’s offer of acceptance apart from labels and “positions”.