October 17     

Today's quotation:

Idolatry is the denial of all hope for the future.  The idols of the past were worshipped by people who were afraid of change, who wanted things to remain the same, who did not want a future that was different, who found their security in the status quo.  The same is true today.

Center of Concern

Today's Meditation:

It seems that it's not a coincidence that we have a lack of tolerance for diversity and change in our world today, given the ways that our modern media have created an incredible array of idols for us to worship-- from actors to athletes to singers and even to politicians, these days much of our economy is based on idol worship, on getting people to be so enamored with personalities that they'll buy anything featuring those people just to have it.  It's a frightening development in our world, but one that doesn't have to keep on.

I know people who know more about athletes than they know about their own children or siblings or friends.  It's not at all uncommon for people to spend large amounts of money buying jerseys just because they have athletes' names on them, or make-up or clothing or perfume just because it has an entertainer's name as a logo.  The quality of the product doesn't seem to matter much-- what's important is the name of the person being idolized.  In politics, many people are less concerned with what a politician actually does than what she or he says they stand for-- if they stand for keeping what I believe should be kept, then I'm all for them.

This type of idolatry is harming us significantly.  We have fewer people who are willing to think for themselves, and more people who blindly accept promises from people who are lying, but who know what we want to hear.  It leads to division when one person idolizes someone that another person dislikes, when someone insults a person that I idolize, when our idols turn out to be different people than we expect them to be.  And it harms us because it keeps us from thinking for ourselves and being able to focus on things that truly matter in our lives, like the people we love.  Money that could go to our children's education, for example, may go to buy that new set of golf clubs with a particular golfer's name on it-- whether the clubs actually help our game or not.

We live in a world in which advertisers know that if they can get us to idolize individuals, they can also get us to part with our money for overpriced products bearing that person's name, and they can get us to watch any program or movie or game involving that person or team, thus adding more money to their coffers.  If we want to truly maintain our independence and freedom from their influence, we must be fully aware of their techniques and strategies.  It is possible to admire someone and enjoy what they do without idolizing them, and it behooves us to do our best to do just that if we don't want to face the possibility of having our thoughts and actions controlled by the media.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people seem to want to idolize others?  What benefits does idolatry bring to one's life?

How do advertisers go about trying to get people to idolize others?

How does idolatry relate to our spiritual lives?

For further thought:

Constantly exposing yourself to popular culture and the mass media will ultimately shape your reality tunnel in ways that are not necessarily conducive to achieving your Soul Purpose and Life Calling.  Modern society has generally "lost the plot."  Slavishly following its false gods and idols makes no sense in a spiritually aware life.

Anthon St. Maarten

more thoughts and ideas on idolatry



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