Idolatry and Manipulation
Once again I come to idolatry.
Do you need to know someone to form an opinion of that person?
I believe you do and was very glad to meet someone else this week who said exactly the same thing.
When I was a teenager I watched people scream and cry over their favorite pop stars and I watch it again today with the fervor and admiration that is whipped up by the media for new music and acting idols.
At those times when I should have been screaming and crying in adoration with all the rest, I felt strangely detached from the situation. I worried that I was lacking in some way, that I did not feel this almighty pull that I was being told I should feel.
Now older and wiser and meeting people who secretly tell me that they wondered if they were emotionally cold also, I realize that I am not one of those people who can be easily sucked in to anything.
Come to think of it I am not a good subject for hypnosis either. I bet there is a link. I remember once being in a club where everyone was told to put their hands on their head and then a little later we were told take down our hands. Mine came down while others had their hands stuck. It was the ones with their hands stuck on their heads who were chosen to go up on the stage to make us laugh at their antics while under deep hypnosis. I must have been lacking there also.
The people who mean something to me are the people who I see, who I touch and who know me as I know them. They are what is important in my life and whether my country survives and thrives is also what matters to me. It is here I live and I want it to look as good as possible for I have to live here. When I am told by the media how I am better or worse off than others, how others are living in better homes or driving better cars, it matters not to me.
I look around me and see with my own eyes. I do not need others eyes to tell me what they see.
Third hand is no good, I want to do it for myself, feel it for myself and see it with my own eyes. What I cannot see with my own eyes should not matter to me greatly.
Yes I feel sad when I hear and see atrocities happening around the world. But if I cannot put food into the mouth of a starving child or cannot take a fleeing refugee into my arms and hide them with me I have no business watching their suffering.
Money has come between me and my helping other people. Money has become the vehicle whereby I can reach out to these people and stop their suffering. Or can I?
We are told constantly that when we give of our hard earned money, perhaps one penny in the pound actually gets to the place where the suffering is happening. The other 99 pence upholds a system set up to benefit others who are not the needy but the people who set up the system to benefit themselves.
A child in my family brought to my notice the suffering of the tigers in some part of the world and asked if we should send a monthly donation. For that we would get a furry toy and every month pictures of the beautiful animals our money would be helping.
I sat down with him and explained that when we sent our money to the organization there were overheads which would have to be met first.
The people who make the fluffy toys, probably in a foreign land, would have to be paid; then the photographer would have to be paid for taking the photographs of the tigers; then there was the printing of the photographs, probably in some foreign land, which would have to be paid for; then there is the postage, which today is very expensive in this country.
I asked the child, how much is left to help the tigers. He walked away happy, he no longer felt the responsibility weighing on his shoulders to help, as he now realized others were helping themselves and his best option was to help those animals around him directly and not uphold some unseen system.
This is also what I must do, not spend my life worrying about what I am shown by the media, but to look around me and see the faces of those whose eyes I can look into, those people who know I exist as I know they exist. They are the people who make up my life and it is here in this country we need to support jobs and our young people. Not pay into a system which encourages us to pour out our emotions on people who do not know we exist, for other people’s purpose.