Expectations

man wearing polo shirt holding left chest

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Expectations! This is a broad topic for sure. I want to focus, briefly, on some societal expectations – or lack thereof – in light of one of my all time favorite quotes.

I have spent many years working with youth in various capacities. It’s no surprise for me to say that they are hurting! Our world is hurting and in need of some major repair. One area we really must improve is our language. This is where the war is being waged today! I wrote a post recently about the fight over definitions. It’s more that just that however. It’s also in our expectations of the language we are using. We often speak death to our situations before life has even had the chance to come forth (I am really preaching to myself now!). We are doing the same with our youth. How often are our youth taught – and taught to speak – as if they have no virtues, as if they have no purpose, as if they are … subhuman.

Thus, what do they do? What most humans in that situation do. They intentionally take on the broken language to try in make it positive amongst themselves. And so, we hear the language reverberating throughout our culture, e.g., “What’s up killa?” Now, same sentence, but substitute “killa” with, “play-boy”, “fool”, “pimp”, “savage”. Or, how about this phrase? “Beast mode!”

We are more concerned with becoming a savage or going beast mode than we are becoming men and women. Let us stop lowering our expectations. Instead, let us raise our expectations and demand something better. I feel, although probably initially met with the usual push-back, in time our youth with respond. They need to know, they must be told, they are not beasts or savages. They are humans, created to receive and give love and to live life to their highest capacity.

The problem with humanity is…we are not human enough!

C.S. Lewis spoke of the educational setting in 1940s England and how they were the worse off because they had, to a large degree, stopped teaching morals in their schools. My how we left this rebuke unheeded! We are exceptionally worse off then they were at that time. So, here finally is the quote!

And all the time — such is the tragi-comedy of our situation — we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful. – C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man, “Men Without Chests”, pg. 12 [you can read an online pdf of this book as well]

Let us rethink and reevaluate our expectations as a society and let us be careful how we perceive – and what we say – about ourselves. I know I need to do this on a personal level! What are your thoughts? 

Published in: on 7 PMpWed, 10 Apr 2019 21:03:17 -040003Wednesday 2016 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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