Two Essential Worldwide Values: Cultural Musing

In attending to what people throughout the world establish as important the world over regardless of value system there are two noticeable threads. One thread pertains to what is of the greatest evil and one thread the highest good. Neither of these world cultural values are held by this writer and intend on sharing comments on both. First, will examine what people consider the greatest evil and then examine the value that seems to be the highest good.

Suffering is seen as the greatest evil in the world. We set up plans and goals to eliminate the various form of suffering. Something about seeing another human suffer and being aware of the suffering touches the core of humanity. When suffering is know, it even often allows for improved generosity. There are philosophical or religious symptoms built around the premise of reduction of suffering. In the world, the big, bad, evil things are things that create the most suffering. These big bads include poverty, disease, and disaster. Ultimately, we all suffer.

The existence of suffering is even a huge barrier for people understanding God has loving. Suffering has long been the world’s villain. The mindset is often if only the suffering could be reduced then everyone would be at peace. That concept is faulty. For lack of peace has nothing to do with suffering. A person can be whole and still suffer; rather it comes from selfishness and selfism. A lot of the suffering that occurs in the world is directly related to some ones self-directed choices.

The highest good is in stark contrast. The highest good essentially is in having and tending to children. Granted it is not the highest value for everybody, but having and raising children is the primary business of the world. One reason for the high value on raising children is that in a sense it is a way to pass on part of self. This is particularly true for those who believe this life is all there is. You live, die, eat, drink, be merry, and reproduce. The value to the world is found in your legacy which is most lived out by the children you bring into the world.

Recently have notice that people can be quick to comment or criticize others who they do not believe are focusing the proper attention on children. Argument have been made that people who help others and choosing temporary separation from their own children are neglecting or perhaps even traumatizing their children. Such an attitude really reflects the attitude that your children are to be the highest value, even over attending to the suffering of others.

Now producing and raising children are a blessing and certainly something that needs high priority. But the value is elevated way to high. Children should not be the most important aspect of living. People live and die by the success their children do or do not have sometimes. Rather, for this writer the things of greatest value are loving God and loving others. Now, granted raising children are part of that, but only a part of that dynamic.

Suffering is difficult, raising children is important but the balance in world cultural place on both are skewed. Do you agree or disagree with those thoughts? Where does suffering and raising children fight in your view of life? How does either influence your view of God?

Movie Commentary: Bella

From time to time on this blog I will make comments on movies, television shows, or other culturally significant issues. When I make comments on a movie I am not going to censor content. So if you do not want content spoiled it is best to read my thoughts after viewing said movie.  If I think a movie is not worth viewing I will state so up front.

            This weekend I watched the movie Bella with my wife and mother.  I had heard good things about this movie and heard it had a strong positive pro-life,  even pro-God/Christianity message. 

            In watching the film, I found the message to be rather straight forward. In terms of the message of the film I found it to be a mixed bag.  On the positive side, the movie definitely has a strong pro-life message. It stresses the importance of relationships and the value of life.  I did find the movie to contain more elements of kharmatic thought over essential Christian themes. 

            The main character essentially saves the life of a child, in essence undoing the life he cost.  It came off as promoting the good done to replace the bad. Some elements of it would seem to fit into an episode of  My Name is Earl without the humor. 

            It do admit that the movie does have a strong positive message. It does a good job of showing a character moving beyond being wrapped up in self and reaching out to others but again it comes off more as kharmatic versus essential Christianity. The main character even is shown with a guru-like, messiah type persona. Perhaps you could stretch the presentation to have allegorical references but the essential themes of the film do seem to fit kharmatic line of thought.

            In terms of the pro-life message I did find it to have value. However, I look at the content of the film and the emphasis on the life of the child and I see the persistent cultural theme of having a child is the apex of humanity. The film does a good job of contrasting selfish pursuit versus looking out for others. However, I do not see complete selflessness in the film. 

            The film did have some moments referencing God, including a blind-man interacting with the two main characters with a sign behind him stating “God made me blind so that I might see” (any errors are do to my faulty memory.)  If anyone who reads this blog and has different thoughts please share them. Am I missing something in this film?  Is the value of this film simply the pro-life message?  I would appreciate any comments.