Like I said, I think I’m back (or I don’t want to work on homework!) Either way…
I’ve been waking up really early lately – granted, this is my form of measurement, not yours. So when I’ve been waking at 7 am on my own volition, I get angry. Granted, I do enjoy mornings post-anger from cold drafts in my room. But, anyway. This morning, I woke up and for some reason put on Bravo. It. is. my. addiction. I knew cable was going to be dangerous, and last week’s spring break only encouraged that behavior to some degree.
So here I’ve been sitting watching yet another tv show on Directv which is taking more and more interesting perspectives on women and their worth. It’s beginning to fascinate and nauseate me more and more. This morning my choice is a marathon of Real Housewives of New York City. Wow. WOW.
Having family in NYC, I know about a lot of the in-and-outs of education in NYC and how parents are fighting tooth and nail to get into the “best” and richest private school. It’s all about the parents, let’s be honest here. Well, at least about the bottom line.
Some of the parents goals are solely social. (I mean, doesn’t everyone want to be in the socialites section of the paper tomorrow morning?!) Prime example: A mom leaves for the day, and you see her 12-year-old son crying, whimpering. “When are you going to be home? Are you going to be home earlier?” Mom’s response? Snickering, she responds, yes, as she’s rolling her eyes with him behind her. His two-year-older sister meanwhile acts disillusioned and untrusting of adults as the housekeeper/nanny explains that their mother really does love them. “Whatever.” The mom, in her 40s, is hanging out with her niece, a 23-year-old, because she likes how young and uncommitted to anything she feels. She can only do this when her rich and elder husband is away on business. Those are the “fun” days. If she can go out and hang with the young hipsters, learn the cool trends, that will be validating.
Of course there was also the parents who specifically spoke about how they want their daughter to find a job where she is self-sustaining away from a man, because you find your life fulfillment in money, not men. Okay, I’ll take half of that and say “Yes.” Yes, you are not or should not find validation as a woman through having a man’s hands wrapped around your hips. But seriously, when all you do is jump from man to man, do you really believe that?
Wow. America is a disarming and disturbing place to live. Life is all about ourselves, our needs, our goals, me. me. me. me. me. But maybe what’s worse is that I can in fact imagine what these 12 year olds on the screen will be like in 15 years. It scares me. It breaks me. What is our generation teaching the generation to follow? I don’t know if I really want to raise a child in America with it the way it is. I cannot dream of loving the world that they will live in! 😦
I guess the problem is that I don’t really know how to fight it. How do you do youth ministry, and say to kids, well, this isn’t just about you, but at the same time say that you matter, and are a special individual. It seems that we lose the way to love in one of two distinct manners: we either encourage narcissism or self-loathe. Sigh… this will probably be the topic of much angst in future ministry.
God, teach me.