Saturday, March 18, 2006

Why I was never a rebel

Most people by the age of 25 (now 26 gasp!) have a line of baggage a mile long. Why? Are they bad people? Nah, it's nearly always that at some point they decided to 'rebel' in order to establish personal identity. There was a notion that what you did didn't matter because you were young and had plenty of time to heal whatever you had broken. Hurting the parents was a sure sign that you were in the right direction of becoming your own person.

I think I've discerned why I never thought it would be cool to rebel against my parents expectations: Whenever one of my sister's friends does something dumb, their parents get on to them by saying "that was bad". When my sisters mess up, just like when I messed up, we are told "that was stupid". It's amazing how much different this little choice of wording really can be.

For example, even when I was relatively non-religious, my moral system stayed intact because it was sensible. Doing rebellious things just to "break" from my folks didn't make any sense precisely because I could only do such a thing by being willingly stupid, and I knew it. If the decision I made was, in fact, a good one, then by definition my parents would not be irrate.

Also, it strikes me that there was a great deal of emphasis on being charitable, but not accepting it unless you had to. I was always taught to be understanding of others failings, but also to use them as models of what not to do. My ability to help, it was understood, was contingent upon my not being one of the ones who needs helping. Self-sufficiency for the non-self-sufficient. In a way it imparted that you aren't, in fact, your own person. You belong to the mission, and are expected to lead.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post. Just a tid bit in response to your concluding paragraph…
I think that even the quiet roles led by the seemingly “needy” (non-self-sufficient) are needed roles still. Isn’t it so that no part within the body of Christ is without its limitations? And because of this, everyone leads according to their design? To gaze into the recesses of a man’s soul, is to find even the faintest shard of light that brings an offering to humanity. To be in need is to receive, and what can man gain when he has everything? Might then an open and willingly spirit, one that witnesses its finite abilities and in that humble knowledge, look with good grace to the common man for inspiration and headship.
Being in need should not be a sign of weakness, rather a sign of mortality.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Roland said...

Thank you for the comment anonymous one...

It's how I was raised, not necessarily the answer to all of life's questions. I can't really separate the strength it has given me in purpose, loyalty, fidelity, and willpower from the inherent potential problem that it might cause in being overly self-dependent.

Also, it isn't a question of having everything so much as its a notion of trying not to be a burden. There is a touch of pride potentially attached to the mindset, but I cannot decide if it's biblical pride or merely the type of pride that one has in anything one does well. No need to divorce the notion of God from the equation.

I would love to be a good modern Christian and say that I really believed that we all have an equal or mutually dependent part in this, but it doesn't square with the things I see around me. No theology here, it's just that while everyone has problems, some people are problems. They shine every now and again and indeed it is hope - light in the darkness.

What I speak of is not a recipie for perfection, simply a round about way of seeing what is around me. I have received plenty of charity and good fortune from many corners. But there is also the issue of Will.

The body needs all of its parts, but not everyone who was assigned a part has decided to play that part, and many have chosen to play it poorly. Perhaps I am among this number. To that charge I would, of course, have no quantifiable response.

blessings,

-Ray

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Katie (ur sister) said...

hey bubba,
I am stuck here while my favorite brother is in NewYork(you r my only brother)but anyhow i miss you alot but i am chatting with you right now so later!!

luvs yah

-katie

7:28 PM  

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