Sorry I haven’t posted since before spring break. We all know how life is, and evidently there has been a lot of life to deal with lately. That being said, I miss writing my thoughts down! So, while this is a little messy, I’d like to post something that has been on my heart lately. These thoughts actually came to be because of a short paper I was assigned, that questioned what I was passionate about in life and why, and what I was going to do about it. Well, I had no idea how to answer any of these questions, but this is what was produced… I’m posting sections of the paper on here (I’ll save all the boring school stuff out of it, haha) because I’d like to know what I can do with this. I have not a clue about where I could take this passion and produce something productive out of it.
P.S. Have mercy… I’m a college student, which means we all know that I wrote this in 30 minutes well after midnight the night before it was due :)
While I feel that there are many things in life that I would say I enjoy, or that I am greatly interested in, there are few things that I would comfortably declare that I am ‘passionate’ about. Until this year in fact, when trying to figure out the pressure of choosing a major (harder than it sounds, turns out), I had never really given serious thought to what things I would consider myself truly passionate about in life. This scared me, because I think that without passion and drive for something life has little meaning. What else are we here for if nothing more than to be passionate about life? As I began to reflect on my own life I was led to also think about what America as a whole seems to be passionate about. On the outside our country seems to be passionate about freedom and individuality and equality (whether those things are even a reality is a whole other topic), but we are evidently also passionate about anything and everything superficial, especially entertainment. When looked at through a financial lens, our society values entertainment over education, poverty, politics and other substantial issues that are immeasurably important to our future. This angers me, irks me, and disturbs me. And while at this point in time there is not much that I can say or do to influence this issue, this is something I am truly passionate about. I am passionate about how media and entertainment has tainted our morals as a society and about how high on the list of priorities it is compared to other issues. I am upset that my generation worships celebrities that will never touch our lives in any physical way, and yet we often do not know the name of our current governor who enacts laws that may directly change the way we live. And I also am passionately angry that the president of the united states, while not always making decisions that I will agree with, makes less than half a million dollars per year to make vital decisions each day that affect millions of people inside and outside of our own country, while a vast majority of averagely-educated athletes get dozens of millions of dollars a year to throw a football around. Where is the logic in this? This isn’t to say that I don’t contribute to entertainment profits or that I think that entertainment is invaluable. I love being able to watch a movie or sporting event to de-stress or spend time with friends. So entertainment isn’t necessarily the issue; the problem is that entertainment and the revenue it generates for this country is valued higher than the lives of those in our country and in the rest of the world who are struggling to survive in even the most basic sense of the world. It makes me sick to my stomach that the projected cost needed to end world hunger is only $30 billion dollars a year (less than ½ of 1% of the worlds combined gross domestic products) and we proclaim that we ‘just don’t have the money’ to do it. This is not true. That money is simply going to places it doesn’t need to be. Last year the U.S. spent twenty-three times this amount to bail out Wall Street. The United States alone could have fed the world for 23 years, and yet we ‘don’t have the money’? There were $14.7 billion that the NFL raked in during the 2010 season, plus another $20 billion in the basketball and baseball industry. Another $10 million was spent out of American pockets on beauty products. Not to mention the $300 billion that was spent on sports gambling. The money spent on sports apparel, make-up, and bailing out already-rich bankers in 2010-2011 could have fed the world for 43 years… without aid from any other country in the world. How is this okay? In the 21st century, when the world is richer and more technologically and medically advanced than ever before in history, world hunger shouldn’t even be a problem. But it is a problem, because we don’t have the courage to realize that there is a need around us that we could address, but choose not to. I don’t know what I can do to make a difference at this point in time, although I hope someday to be able to contribute to the solution, but feel that with a Christian worldview these thoughts are definitely congruent with the values that Jesus himself preached on, which are the same that I try to live by. One verse in the bible states “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land’” (Deuteronomy 15:11). This is in line with exactly what I believe. Jesus taught to love one another and not to build up earthly treasure, but to give to those in need. We are not living in a culture that does this in any sense right now, and that is a scary thought.
For I believe that the moment that a human life is of less worth in our minds than the money we could have in our pockets, if we chose to ignore their need, we have failed in the worst way possible…
I would love to hear feedback. If anyone has a wonderful idea about how to turn this frustration in to anything productive please let me know. What are you passionate about? Why? What are you doing about it?