I read more and more about “me.” That is, there are a swarms of slogans flying around like “I’m me, like it or not.” Or, “All I can do is be me, whatever that is.” And, “Everyday remind yourself that you are the best.” Great, wonderful, but it’s all a product of the me generation. Is it helping us? Not even close.
To be clear, the “Me” generation refers to Baby Boomers, though it has nasty effects on us today. Writer Tom Wolfe coined the term in the 70’s – a time when we really start to see a rise in self-involved qualities and consumer culture, according to Wikipedia. It goes on to say, The phrase caught on with the general public, at a time when “self-realization” and “self-fulfillment” were becoming cultural aspirations among young people….
We’re so heavily influenced by culture (much more than just the 70’s) we don’t even see it influencing our ideas, thoughts, decisions, actions, moods, and actions. We don’t even question it. Through politics, education, media, etc we systematically promote “the me ideology” as truth.
We trust the media and empirical science so much that we no longer think for ourselves. Our intuitions are suffocated by evidence – that later gets debunked. Our common sense is questioned in light of scientific study – that later gets debunked. Our wisdom is replaced with logic – that later gets debunked.
This is not to say there isn’t stupid “wisdom and intuition” out there – there are plenty of nuts in our world. And I love science and discovery. But man, we let it run our lives over the internal wisdom and connection with God we already possess to the point that it snuffs it out, leaving us totally dependent on more scientific wisdom. No thanks.
We cry out to be free and happy barely knowing what it is any more. We think it’s this mythical “super independence.” It’s not. This thinking is depicted in Montgomery Gentry’s song Hell Yeah.
She’s got an MBA and a plush corner office
She’s got a don’t mess with me attitude
She’ll close a deal she don’t reveal that she can feel
The loneliness the emptiness
Except when she comes in here
She’s the product of the Me generation
She’s got a rock and roll side when you get her agitated
She got the tattoo there on her derriere from a spring break dare
In Panama where love was all she thought she’d ever need
This “independence,” this “me” thinking, leaves us lonely and desperate. We think we’ll find answers with more money, better jobs, better relationships, cool tattoos. We don’t. Instead, we totally miss our purpose and connection to God. We’re full of anger and hate and don’t even recognize it as poison because we’re influenced to think, “screw you, it’s all about me.” This doesn’t sound like the peace and contentment that we all seek.
And yet, most of us live this way. How come? Off the cuff, the alternatives (e.g., religion, God, Jesus – things that teach us to live with true power) are practiced so poorly it’s not seen as a viable option – or one that has any impact, relevance, or meaning anymore.
So on one side we have science discovering and doing some really cool stuff that doesn’t necessarily fulfill us. On the other, we have the religious distorting God’s message. It’s no wonder we’re a bit lost.
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson