Our current society is structured to validate. Whatever you believe, whatever you think, however you feel… society has organized in such a way as to make you think you're right (no matter what). Marketers have learned that the best way to make money is by giving a person what they want (even if what they want is not good for everyone else).
You want to have your packages delivered quickly? You can and SHOULD. (Don't worry about environmental pollution, child labor, and governmental policies that destroy the small businesses that employ most of the middle class).
You are uncomfortable hearing about people who've worked their whole lives as hard as you have and have yet to rise to your level of comfort? Then we will hide that for you. (Don't worry about the injustice you're contributing to, the suffering of large people groups, and the overall disproportionate distribution of "wealth".)
In an individualist society, the individual (rather than the the collective good) is king.
If you have an opinion, just google it—you will find the support you're looking for! Want to feel like your opinion is right? Just look it up on TikTok or Facebook—you'll soon feel much more justified.
But what happens if most of the voices I hear echo my own? I begin to believe that any dissenting voice is wrong. Instead of seeing my perspective as just one of many, I see it as the only right perspective. And I begin to worship MYSELF.
If this is NOT what you want, if you don't actually want to be king, if you actually value the good of the community OVER good for yourself, you are going to have to swim upstream.
Here are three things to consider...
Does my comfort in this situation benefit everyone?
Whose perspective might be different from mine?
If I hoard resources, who will likely go without? (Assuming there's a limited amount)
These are incredibly difficult questions to ask. They may feel too heady, too hard, and too uncomfortable. But if following Jesus is important to you, consider the example he set in choosing discomfort, in surrounding himself with a diverse friend group, and in caring for those in the margins.
Don't know where to start? Choose one person to listen to today who looks different from you. Or who sees the world from a different perspective. Last week I chose Tamice Spencer Helms.
Unsplash: Pascal Scholl