More than any other generation before us in history do we have the potential to impact/change/affect the spheres in which we live (our immediate contexts to our cities, to our nations, to the world). The human being has always been a creative, productive, hungry, and desiring creature. What sets this age apart from any other is the platforms and technologies available to administrate and project these qualities or gifts…
…for the greatest amount of good human history has ever seen
…or for a great deal of bad.
News of Justin Bieber’s arrest last week reinforces what we have seen and continue to see consistently from a generation of young and old. Here is a generation of people with more influence, power and money/resources of most human beings at any point in history. And the exploits we hear again and again, are of individuals in trouble with the law, indulging in excess, waste, drugs and etc. Why does greatness in this world seem to come hand in hand with hedonistic, narcissistic, meaningless behaviour?
And here I would like to raise the possibility of an alternative. An alternative that is not simply behaviour modification – simply because if what I really want to do is to satisfy myself in ways that ultimately do damage to my body, and to those around me, YET by sheer force of will and self-control, I do the right things – that is actually bondage. No, that is too superficial and restricting.
So what if our very natures could be changed? I don’t want to exist doing what I really don’t want to do, but doing it because I know it’s the right thing to do.
No, I want to DESIRE and SEEK the good of myself and those around me. Then my good behaviour is actually a hedonistic pursuit of a fundamentally good and altruistic nature. That is what I want to call true freedom. Freedom in its fullest and best sense, because it is freedom for me in the sense that I get to do what I want and it is freedom for others and for the society in which I function because of my good deeds.
This ‘beautiful alternative’ would CHANGE THE WORLD. This phrase “change the world” is thrown about all too easily today and it has lost meaning, but I want to emphasise that mean it in it’s actual sense.
The world would be changed.
I want to suggest that this is what Jesus meant when he said ” I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” That the kingdom of God in its fullest manifestation is filled with people who only ever do what they want to do. The kingdom is filled with people that they are completely hedonistic but those in whom the hedonistic desires and behaviours are deeply altruistic.