I seem to be getting confused lately about the smallest things. Somewhere along the line without me noticing, A turned into B, X turned into Y, and 2 + 2, started equaling 5. I think it could just be me, maybe I haven’t kept up with the times. You tell me.
Here’s what I mean:
–When did humility become a bad thing?
When I was a kid, humility — to accurately assess your strengths and weaknesses, without arrogance or cockiness, and to recognize that we’re all part of a larger whole — was considered a virtue, something to be emulated. Benjamin Franklin, more than 240 years ago, wrote of his goal to be more humble and to imitate Jesus and Socrates.
But now, virtues like modesty and humility are spewed out with contempt. Hollywood actors and actresses, musicians, politicians, all want the spotlight on them. Many sports stars especially seem to want to point to the name on the back of their jersey instead of the team name on the front.
For example, I watched in shock recently as Carolina Panther Quarterback Cam Newton scored a touchdown and instead of celebrating with his team, the men who helped make it possible, he put his hands out to hold them back, ran away from them, and performed his own individual celebration. He had no plans to celebrating with them. As far as I saw, he never really did celebrate with his team. I make fun of Newton, but you can find the same behavior on many other teams.
In fact, the rise in arrogance and haughtiness seems to have filtered down to normal everyday people too. In a 2016 College of Charleston survey, 56% of 5th and 6th graders described the humble as embarrassed, sad, lonely or shy. When adults are asked to recount an experience of humility, they often tell a story about a time when they were humiliated.
So I repeat my original question: when did putting others first in thought, word, and deed become a bad thing?
–Likewise, when did temperance and moderation become a bad thing. Everybody tries to out do the next person. I’m as competitive as anyone, but when did “show” become more important than substance.
Case in point, Kim Kardashian. Her family’s silly, self-absorbed show, Keeping up with the Kardashians, has become one of the longest-running reality TV shows. I get the need for a mindless escape, but I have no idea how the show has survived that long.
Okay, that’s an easy one to complain about, but I could just as easily make fun of The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor or any of the cooking shows or home improvement shows that blanket the airwaves nowadays. These shows have become less about competing against one another and more about showing off who has more and who can push the boundaries.
I get the idea of meaningless, guilty pleasures — there’s nothing wrong with them— and I know that I sound dated. I just can’t help but feel that the simplest of advice like giving to others; living a balanced life; and being grateful and appreciative for what God has given you and how others have helped you is the best advice.