Tuesday, June 7, 2016


If I am not better than other men, at least I am different.
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau

It is the “Age of Me,” where being bizarre and boisterous, uneducated and undisciplined, passes for individuality.  Members of this cult worship at the altar of self where the individual’s feelings and momentary impulses are the measure of all things. Consequently, customs and traditions are thought to be ridiculous and the code of morality upon which western civilization was established is seen as hilariously ludicrous. In the Age of Me all that matters is the individual’s instincts, rendering him more like an animal than a human created in the image of God.

It seems to me that, as a majority of people think only in terms of “being myself,” few then are asking what it means to be a human or, more specifically, to be humane.  Up until around 100 years ago, one of the chief ends of education was to facilitate the shaping of souls by introducing students to the “permanent things” regarding what it means to be genuinely human, via art, history, literature, philosophy, and even theology. However -

Today it is believed that there aren’t any permanent things, no norms of human nature and behavior, only my unique experiences and sentiments. From such uniqueness, the me-ist then develops his own personalized code of morality that, at any moment, can morph into any shape he wishes. Subsequently, yesterday’s decadence can become today’s decency with a single flash of thought or feeling. Of course, to maintain this mindset, he must reject a religious view of life or, at least, a religion that adheres to permanent things: you know, things like The 7 Cardinal Virtues or The 7 Deadly Sins.

Jettisoning a religious view of life, which includes a transcendent moral order, me-ists scurry around doing whatever is right in their own eyes. Feeling that they are expressing and asserting their individuality, they seek no guidance from the cumulative wisdom of the past and sense no obligation regarding the inheritance they are leaving future generations. There is only me and now. Tragically, such anarchical individualism leads to the destruction of souls and the disintegration of society.

Seeking to be different for difference’s sake creates psychological abnormalities, not health and wholeness. Furthermore, seeking to be “me” is not the same thing as seeking to become the individual human God created me to become. The first leads to chaos and emptiness: only the latter leads to becoming genuinely human.

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2016

No comments:

Post a Comment