Earlier this evening I read this paragraph over Andrea’s shoulder:
Within you there is courage, grace, honour, integrity. These are things that are not advertised but that resound throughout your life with far greater impact than appearance. They do not sell products, they are contradictory to you becoming one, but they are of the utmost importance. They do not mean that you cannot be beautiful, only that without them being beautiful is worthless. – Matthew Good
In the few hours that have passed since I read Matt’s post, the struggle I have had has been not wanting to distract you from what he has said. There is probably not alot that I can say that will improve upon it. He has done an excellent job of contrasting that which is priceless and that which is worthless.
But, I do disagree with him on one small point.
My main purpose in this address is simply to convince you that this desire is one of the great permanent mainsprings of human action. It is one of the factors which go to make up the world as we know it-this whole pell-mell of struggle, competition, confusion, graft, disappointment, and advertisement, and if it is one of the permanent mainsprings then you may be quite sure of this. Unless you take measures to prevent it, this desire is going to be one of the chief motives of your life, from the first day on which you enter your profession until the day when you are too old to care. – C.S. Lewis
Snobbery (under the guise of different names) has been around for generations.
I’m a few years older than Matt. I grew up in the time when the aura of the 60’s was in it’s death throes. I do not believe I was under any less pressure to conform than my children’s peers are. What is obvious is that they are under pressure to conform to something different, somthing more superficial. What’s come to mind while writing this post is what happened to “friends” when I turned down offers to participate (in a variety of things). For example, I lost alot of “friends” by turning down alcohol. It turned out that I wasn’t a friend at all, but someone to drink with. What I’ve always found ridiculous about this was that if I had wanted to blame in on something (Andrea, the wagon, religion, etc.), I could have escaped the dissociation. But simply not wanting to drink was unacceptable.
A young person today is likely suffer the same fate if they are unwilling to be shallow, self-absorbed, manipulative and materialistic (or, at least, maintain the appearance of being so). I did say, though, that it was a small point. One of the reasons I feel that way is that the “60’s ideal” may take 30-40 years to catch up to you. But, I expect that “today’s ideal” of superficiality catchs up far faster than that.