There are certain misunderstandings about humanity and life in general that have been spread throughout pop culture since at least the 20th century that are simply false. It is important to correct these because to believe them will lead us to miss out on a more fulfilling and beautiful life. I think this because I used to believe these things whole heartedly and only found misery through them.
By “pop culture” I mean the popular opinions being pushed onto us by the communal experiences that we all encounter through the media, movies, news, books, tv shows, and internet that we consume. These ideas are encountered by us and can influence us to think a certain way. Below I will share the things that are misunderstood by pop culture today and then share the correct understanding of it right after. A fuller explanation of how this is misunderstood, and more about how it should be properly understood, can be found after each topic.
- Aging: Growing older is actually a beautiful and deeply satisfying process.
The desire to look and feel young is nothing new. From the Ancient Greeks declaring that 20 is when humans are the most beautiful to explorers of old searching for a fountain of youth in order to stay young forever, we have many instances in history and today that provide us with the idea that aging is bad.
Yes, getting older has some negative effects, but truly the growth, wisdom, and awareness of reality that can come with it are tremendous. Personally, my growth in my understanding of life in my thirties has been truly revolutionary for me. I can only imagine how much more this will increase when I get to my father’s age or my grandfather’s age.
Yes, it does feel good to be young and to look young, however, I would say that the wisdom gained in growing older is a fine exchange for youth. There is a view of the world that the young mind simply does not have and can only be obtained through time and experience. Growing older allows for this time and experience so that we can have a deeper, more fulfilling understanding of reality. Furthermore, the different stages in life found as one grows older that have a beauty to them all on their own.
- Value of Human Life: A person’s value is not determined by what he or she brings to the world. Every human has tremendous value based simply on the fact that we exist. Whether or not we are seen as benefitting society has no impact on this.
A strange ideology has snuck into modern perceptions that says that a person’s worth is based on how much they can participate in and benefit society. This has caused many people to look at those who are unable to work or produce, such as the elderly or those who depend upon the assistance of others to live, in an unfavorable way.
The truth is that each person on this earth is a miraculous individual on his or her own. Each person is unrepeatable, unreplacable, and will never exist again. Regardless of whether someone is able to benefit society at large or not, we each have tremendous value and bring more beauty to the world by just simply existing.
- Love vs. Romantic Feelings: To love someone is much more than being attracted to them or having romantic feelings for them.
Modern pop culture has spread a relatively new understanding of love to say that it always has to be enjoyable and feel good to love someone. The truth is that sometimes love is uncomfortable, inconvenient, and hard. While there are also great moments of feeling good, excitement, and fun involved in love, we need to understand that sometimes we need to work and sacrifice in love as well.
If we are unable to love someone in this way, we will be overcome by selfishness, which will lead to bitterness and misery. No one is perfect, everyone has flaws, and everyone has issues that should not be a hinderance to you loving them. What this means is that love is more than a romantic conquest. It is a service that we each are called to lay down our lives for.
We are meant to submit ourselves to those we are in romantic relationships with as we should see ourselves as truly belonging to them. It may sound weird, but if both partners see this in each other and their relationship, their love will be a deep, satisfying blessing that could never be topped by any romantic feeling.Yes, romantic feelings and attraction will still be a big part of the relationship, but they cannot be the only focus for it.
- Producers vs. Consumers: We as human beings are meant for more than just consuming what society and Mother Nature gives us. We are meant to create and cultivate.
Humans are meant for creating and cultivating. Yes, we can still consume and take much of what is given to us, however, if we only do that, without producing anything of our own, without giving back anything, we will not reach the full measure of life that we were made for. Human life is more than just consuming.
By consuming, I mean using material resources or taking in ideas from books and media. And by producing I mean creating, either coming up with new ideas, making something beautiful like art, music, or even a new business, or creating new life and raising children. There is so much more we can give to the world than we realize. In fact, the world needs what we can produce and give to it.
It should be noted, and this will be seen more in the next point, that we are also more than what we produce. What I mean by this point this is that we should use our gifts to make the world better, not simply take whatever the world is giving to us.
- The Purpose of human life: Each of us have a meaningful purpose for our existence. We are not mere effects of random chance.
Our lives our not random. We are not accidents that just happen to be here and now we have to go to school or work a 9 to 5 job in order to survive. We are each intended, desired, and loved, and this is seen through the very fact that we exist.
If you look at the incredibly rare and mathematically improbable chances of each individual life, both in terms of how humans can possibly exist on this planet and how each of us came to be through the human reproductive process, you see how insane it is that anyone of us are here. It’s wild to me to think that as an atheist I once thought that life came about through random chance.
You are not here by accident, you were formed in your mother’s womb for a purpose. How people want to qualify and rank the purpose that we each have is not as important as the fact that we each have one. Technically we each have two purposes. The first purpose is that we each are called to love one another with true sacrificial love. The second is our distinct missions that we each have been given by God. It’s up to us to discover these missions and fill in our missing space in the grand jigsaw puzzle of life.
Are there any misunderstandings being perpetuated that you think need to be corrected? Let us know! Send your response to email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!