I’m not proud to say how long it took me to figure out how to copy and paste things using keyboard shortcuts, and since I have it has pretty much blown my mind. But you don’t care about my horribly lacking technological skills.
When I look at the people in our culture, and the values that we maintain, I can’t help but see how replicative we are. We seem to always preach individualism, but we all kind of fall into this trap of being exactly the same in how we are “individuals”. I don’t know. I think it’s hard to verbalize because it’s the weirdest paradox ever, but looking at people in general, I think it’s easy to see.
Everyone wants to be their own person. And how dare they! No, I’m just kidding. I think that’s awesome, and I thank God everyday that I was born in a society where I can literally be anything I want (except a pirate, but I’m getting over it). But I do find that we struggle to have actual original thoughts. We so easily just become what’s convenient for us.
I know I’m being really vague, and you’ve probably lost interest by now. If you haven’t, I thank you, and I promise to get to the point right away.
Generally, people seem to succumb to what is most popular. Especially in my generation (Generation Y, Generation iY, the Millenials, whatever you want to call us) we strive to be like the people we are around. Now, this isn’t a new thing. There’s the popular concept that your attitude, behaviour, finances, etc. is the average of your five closest friends, and this is just because we’re a relational species. I hope you’ve at least figured that much out.
But where the issue lies is when we refuse to think for ourselves. For my generation, it’s easy for us to think exactly how those around us do. We’re scared that someone might call us intolerant or stupid or - God forbid - wrong! No one wants to be wrong, but we sacrifice our own originality out of fear of someone telling us that they disagree with us. So what it comes down to is a bunch of relative ideals that are identical in how watered-down they are. No one really knows what they believe, and to be honest, it’s kind of troubling.
One of the most interesting things that I’ve experienced so far in my university career is the general consensus towards the idea of “God”. Now, when I first got here, I expected the majority to be very opposed to the idea of any sort of deity, mostly because I know that I go to a fairly prestigious school and the people who go here would consider themselves “too intelligent” for that (and trust me, there are people who feel that way). But what has surprised me is that most people just feel uncomfortable toward the idea. We don’t really have an idea or opinion of what God is, but we want something like that. Instead of addressing the issue - addressing the want, and frankly, the need - we boil down to the lowest common denominator. Nothing. And what hurts me most is that when I talk to people individually, they long SO MUCH for some sort of spirituality, but fear the condemnation and criticism from their peers.
Our longing to be liked right now trumps our desire to be loved forever.
So instead we dress the same, talk the same, act the same, drink the same, and eat the same. We go from fad to fad, trend to trend, because we just want to be accepted.
Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V; Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V; Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V
I like to think I have a firm set of beliefs, but even I find myself getting stuck in that rut. I don’t want to upset anyone because I want to be their friend. Sometimes I even use the excuse that I don’t want people to not like me because then they might have a bad idea about Christianity. Come on, Cole. Buck up.
But it’s true. Sometimes I find myself telling people that “I’m a C-C-C-Christian…” because I’m scared of how they’ll react, instead of knowing and expressing the love of Christ that I live in on a day-to-day basis.
So for my non-Christian friends, I challenge you to explore (for yourself) what you really believe and why. Not because I want to argue with you, tell you you’re wrong, or just disagree with you, but because I want you to stand firm in something for your own sake. To know what you live for and why is extremely comforting. We all long for purpose, so find that purpose and be strong.
And for my Christian brothers and sisters, remember the love and grace that you live in. I don’t mean just think about it. I mean live it out. Act like you’re loved so that others can know and feel that love. Attract people to yourself by living how Christ did. That’s what is going to grow the Kingdom of God. Not arguing or debating.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7)
Don’t be afraid to stand out, because frankly everyone else is thinking exactly what you’re thinking. Everyone feels the same way you do, but no one is willing to say it. Do something different tomorrow. Look at yourself in the mirror and think of one thing that you can do to make yourself stand out as an individual. It’ll completely change your outlook and attitude in life. I can guarantee it.
Until then, I’ll just be here learning about how to use a keyboard like a normal person, and hoping that we can all just hit Ctrl+T and start a new tab in our life. (You ordered the extra cheesy, right?)