Humanism throughout history yielded incredible advances to humanity, by promoting the rule of law, individual freedom and separation of church and state. We owe this revolutionary movement a lot of what is today taken as granted in developed countries. Placing the human, rather than God, at the center of the universe was, when first introduced, unheard of.
Centuries later, we seamlessly integrated the core principles and ideas of humanism in all levels of everyday society and life. Placing the human at the center of the universe might have not been such a bad idea idea after all. However, what happens when we forget who came up with humans in the first place? Humanism separated entirely from the idea of God and deity is palpable in our societies today. In my personal experience, it can be destructive and create a climate where the inherent value and sacredness of humans is reduced.
As a catholic living in a secular, arguably pagan society, there are a few aspects of this that make daily life… well, challenging. One that is particularly obvious is the concept of a person’s (or soul) value is determined by outside factors, rather than being an intrinsic, birthright de facto quality of simply being human.
The world cares much about labels, “good” and “bad” people, successful and failing, attractive, geeky, eco-friendly… you name it. The focus seems to be on external, action-based, materialist attributes. Which is precisely what puzzles me; these are attributes. These can be changed, taken, given away or received. They can even be purchased.
The judgement of value in our societies today relies on attributes that are somewhat fickle and meaningless – what happened to virtues? to values? these appeared to have been pushed out of the equation and left to appear only at graduation speeches and Christmas. It might explain why a lot of people don’t take President Trump seriously, and are quick to declare him unfit, a fraud and plain ridiculous. But do they ponder on the values Donald Trump has embodied all through his life and the personal characteristics that make him who he is, and lead his path to presidency? If anything, the mere fact that someone so openly ridiculed and despised by the popular opinion succeeded to be elected as President of the United States of America is itself worthy of admiration (… cue Russian involvement conspiracy of the revolting left).
Sometimes, you can’t win. People will judge from their own experiences, out of fandom, out of their own insecurities, out of actual constructive criticism as well. It’s worth keeping and open mind and heart to other people and discern the best way to move forward. Even when society judges unfairly or delivers aggressive messages, there could be a truth to listen to there – if only deep begrudging and fear. Peers will guide you on your journey through life, but only God knows our hearts and only He can ever judge the world fairly and entirely.
As women, we make countless decisions everyday that relate to how others will perceive us; what to wear, how to wear it, what makeup, how to style our hair, how to interact with people, what to reveal or conceal about ourselves, and so much more.
In all this, it’s so easy to lose balance and get confused between what God wants from us, and what other people want. We remember who our hearts belongs to, and honor Him by our decisions everyday.
The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.
The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.