“Thus the life and reign of King Henry IV exhibit to us another instance of the vanities of ambition and the harsh guerdon [old English word for "repayment"] which rewards its success.”
I like the “another instance of the vanities of ambition” part. In order to run for office one must be Narcissistic and yet the subtitle to Christopher Lasch’s late 1970s work “The Culture of Narcissism” succinctly describes the consequence of such "necessary" narcissism:
“American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations”
Do we elect “non-leaders”, “non-statesmen” because we have diminishing expectations? Or is it because we as a collective people (oh there is a new concept: collective people) have eliminated the value of “work ethic”, “individual initiative”, “discipline”, “moderation”, etc. from our standard in search of prosperity? Virtue has been replaced with Celebrity-hood.
What is, or better yet - what should our standard be? Mr. Lasch accurately describes the current standard written back in the late 1970s on page 53:
"In an age of diminishing expectations, the Protestant virtues no longer excite enthusiasm. Inflation erodes investments and savings. Advertising undermines the horror of indebtedness, exhorting the consumer to buy now and pay later. As the future becomes menacing and uncertain, only fools put off until tomorrow the fun they can have today. A profound shift in our sense of time has transformed work habits, values, and the definition of success. Self-preservation has replaced self-improvement as the goal of earthly existence."
What is the goal of our earthly existence? Are we as a people becoming the valley of Dry Bones found in Ezekiel chapter 37? Have we lost our eternal perspective in worshiping the Golden Calf of Celebrity-hood?
Again the realization must come to us now, not later (better to have learned this at 52 instead of 62) of we OUGHT to do regardless of the current, popular cultural norm. Where is the idea of maturity (virtue) over selfishness (Celebrity-hood)?
If you lived during the fall of the
I was remembering the blockbuster move “The Book of Eli” starring Danzel
Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34 NASB).
So what would be your treasure if you knew the Neo-Dark Age (economic catastrophe, nuclear winter, etc.) was rapidly approaching?
As I am getting ready to fly a late night trip, I watched HLN to get up to speed on what is happening in the
What is going on that I need to know the number of days Lindsey is in jail? What is going on that someone on top of the world from the financial to the professional ranks has lost control of themselves? What is the example that is being set for American’s to view?
Back in the 1970s Christopher Lasch wrote a bestseller titled The Culture of Narcissism – American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations. In his section on The Eclipse of Achievement, Lasch writes:
“Self-approval depends on public recognition and acclaim, and the quality of this approval has undergone important changes in its own right. The good opinion of friends of friends and neighbors, which formerly informed a man that he had lived a useful life, rested on appreciation of his accomplishments. Today men seek the kind of approval that applauds not their actions but their personal attributes. They wish to be not so much esteemed as admired. They crave not fame but the glamour and excitement of celebrity. They want to be envied rather than respected.” (
This is the spiritual and moral condition of many in our American society. As James Allen wrote about in his famous treatise on “As A Man Thinketh”, thoughts crystallize into habits which solidify into circumstances. Noble thoughts cannot produce bad fruit.
Or better put: “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matt. 7:17 NASB).
Mel Gibson’s road must not to be traveled by us or by our children and our road of life can/must be guarded with noble thoughts. Lindsay Lahan’s road is not to be traveled by us or by our children and our road of life can/must be guarded with proper actions not personal popularity. Why? Actions speak loudly. Jesus Christ spoke of the proper actions (not a concept well received today with the new religion of “tolerance”) in John 13:17, “If you know these things [those from prior verses 5-16], you are blessed if you do them” (NASB).
These things: server others, bear good fruit, etc. are mandatory to maintain a civilized society. Lasch concludes with the indictment of, “More than anything else, it is this coexistence of hyper-rationality and a widespread revolt against rationality that justifies the characterization of our twentieth-century way of life as a culture of narcissism” (pg. 248).
The time is now to study and regain a rational lifestyle.