Posted by: ImpendingDawn | July 29, 2010

More Than Useless

OUR SOCIETY IS BECOMING ALARMINGLY DESENSITIZED.

Think about it. There are so many things that we see, hear about, and say that were once taboo but now seem totally normal. Examine society’s changing attitude towards sex, for instance. In the past, sex was a sacred thing to be shared only between a man and wife in matrimony. That has now changed. Drastically. The influence of sex is seen all over the media; it’s in movies, TV shows, ads. It’s used to sell jeans, for pete’s sake! “Wear these jeans; they’ll make your butt look hot and all the boys will want you!”

Pathetic.

However, such ridiculousness MIGHT be justifiable if the disregard of taboos was leading to more openness and honesty in relationships, in turn leading to myriads of positive effects. Maybe if people were translating these evolving perspectives to an invitation to talk about their deepest and most secret hopes and fears, I could overlook all the negative consequences. 

It’s not. I can’t.

Radically shifting points of view are evident all around us. We hear about another accident on the highway and don’t shudder. We see images of starving children on TV and do nothing to help. We read about murders and rapes and continue about our days. WHAT IS WRONG WITH US? WHEN DID WE FALL ASLEEP TO THE WORLD AND THE PEOPLE AND THE SITUATIONS OUTSIDE OF OUR OWN MEASLY LIVES?

Yes, we are becoming rapidly desensitized. No, it is not a good thing.

I hear about depression and self-harm all the time. Once, people would not dare to talk about such things because experiencing them was looked down upon. Now, they’re out in the open for everyone to discuss.

Despite this, I still do not feel comfortable speaking about my own struggles with deep depression and self-harm. Some of my best friends remain in the dark, in reference to the roles those issues play in my own life. Yes, I hear about them. Yes, I talk about them. No, I do not link them to myself. We are desensitized, but in all the wrong ways.

If I’m to be honest, I am one of those people who can watch a World Vision commercial and think nothing of it. When the earthquake in Haiti was all over the news, yeah, I felt bad. But I didn’t do anything to help, of course. “I’m too young, I’m not rich, there’s nothing I can do.” The problem is not my age or the size of my savings fund, it’s my own lack of motivation and compassion for others. I’m so used to hearing about and seeing dismal situations that these lyrics by Relient K are a near perfect description of myself:

I notice, I know this
Week is a symbol of how I use my time
Resent it, I spent it
Convincing myself the world’s doing just fine
Without me.

The fact that these lyrics are horribly applicable to my life does not make me happy. So, one day, I hope to go on a missions trip to a developing country. Maybe Guatemala, as the child I used to sponsor lives there. I want to see these people face to face, and learn about their lives. I want to help them. 

Moreover, I want to learn from them. Living in my quiet little Canadian community has caused me to grow up with an entirely inaccurate view of life. Physically, I never want for anything. I can always be assured of food, water, and a wonderful home. My suffering is all mental, and I believe I could learn a lot from the trusting, hopeful smile of a starving child.

Maybe by the end of that trip, these will be the lyrics most applicable to my life:

I’m a little more than useless
When I think that I can’t do this
You promise me that I’ll get through this
And do something right
Do something right for once

I’m a little more than useless
And I never knew I knew this
Was gonna the day, gonna be the day
That I would do something right
Do something right for once.

🙂

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