Tuesday, June 12, 2012
You Are NOT The Center of the Universe
The problem with our modern understanding of education is we have made the ultimate goal of education about getting a job and being a "high-achiever", not about learning for the sake of learning. If what we learn in school is true, then it is a good thing, in-and-of-itself. The good we get from it might lead to other achievements (e.g., good grades, jobs, etc), but the point of getting an education is to learn the truth and to conform our lives to that truth.
Truth is of God. God is truth, Jesus tells us in the Gospel of John (14:6). So, every true thing we learn, whether it is a math problem, a history lesson, or a Bible verse is a participation in God's very nature. Therefore, education is a good thing because it draws us closer to the nature of the one who made truth; who is truth.
Our current cultural understanding of truth is muddled by relativism and utilitarianism. We find "our truths" to be sacred, but no other. This leads to a subjective understanding of education. It is not about finding and conforming our lives to what is true, but rather, it is about achievement. If I achieve, I am good. If I achieve, I am valuable. But, this is a lie. Our dignity isn't about whether we achieve anything or not, but rather it too is found in the truth about the nature of God and our sharing in that nature as God's sons and daughters.
So, this universal dignity means that in God's eyes (and in reality) I am not any better than another person, in my dignity or worth. But, I am still greatly valued. So, are you.
The culture will still tell you that you are worth only what you can do. This means every time you fail to achieve more than the next person, you devalue yourself. Another lie.
This is the point I take from the following video, where a high school graduation speaker tells the students they are not special and are not the center of the universe. They need to hear it, because too often the opposite is the message they receive from modern culture and life will then disappoint and show them they are not. He urges them to do things they love and find important. Not to seek self-indulgence, but rather to read, to work on their character, dream big, be selfless, etc. It is a great message which points out they have to work hard to have a good life - it won't be handed to them. Finally, he states everyone IS special, because we all share in a special nature - being human.
But, enough rambling. Watch:
Tip o' the hat to CMR for the video.