As I look out of my bedroom window, I am ashamed at how often I’ve overlooked the glory of the morning. In my life, for more times than I care to imagine, I have risen from my nightly slumber and bypassed the light and life that were ascending and descending as if either were a given.
I approached each day with immature and arrogant thoughts that convinced me that my priority was to create meaning and value for each day. In the process, I missed the stunning reality that each day was already born with meaning and value. The grandeur and magnificence of every rising sun was overshadowed by my desire to make something of myself without acknowledging what had already been made for me.
The beauty and profound simplicity of dawning days are often neglected because we live in a time when vision is blurred because of the pursuit of the extravagant. Roaming recklessly is the toxic thought that neither simplicity nor simple living has any real value. We have become a culture infected with sensationalism, seemingly driven by a perverted need to parade opulence. Thus begins the race to outdo one another. We want to be impressive, to be noticed, to be remembered.
Tragically, we start believing that everything that qualifies us is external to who we are and, subsequently, our inherent value becomes devalued. The signs of the sickness are everywhere. Cars that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars cruise the streets, giving the illusion that dreams only come to fruition for the privileged in a certain tax bracket. People wait on lines outside of stores anxious to wear overpriced garments marked with the names of people who profit from the insecurity of others.
Some are losing homes to foreclosure because houses were bought beyond what was affordable, all in an effort to give the appearance of arrival at an imaginary place. What is determined as newsworthy are those subjects, born in sensation, that arouse the emotion and imagination while the human spirit is the casualty of unjust media wars.
These are bleak times, but I don’t believe these are hopeless times.
Maybe there is a way to reverse the downward cultural spiral, and just maybe it begins by reclaiming the power of simple living. I know this is a challenging thought, especially when there are very few cultural images that affirm simple living. But these times are screaming for countercultural revolutionaries, persons who are not afraid to cut against the grain in order to transform the soul of our society.
Who are these revolutionaries? They are those who are weary of witnessing poor children kill one another over perishable items. Who are the revolutionaries? They are those who refuse to accept the absurdity of poverty in a country that wastes more than it consumes. Who are the revolutionaries? They are those who realize that our current fixation on excess will lead to the unraveling of America. Who are the revolutionaries? They are those who are fully cognizant that in a capitalist society, it is quite plausible to be wealthy and soulless at the same time.
Something has to change because the children, our children, need to know that there is another way. Our children need to know that their value is not in what they wear or what they have, but in who they are. It is time for the revolutionaries to stand up and be counted!