Monday, January 15, 2007

Don't you deserve a diamond? (A Rant)

Sometimes I think I take things too seriously.

About an hour ago I was cleaning the kitchen while my roommate, Megan, and her boyfriend were watching TV in the living room. A McDonald’s commercial came on TV, and it rubbed me the wrong way: A mother and her five-ish-year-old son are running errands, and the mother keeps answering her cell phone. The duo stop into a McDonald’s and the phone rings yet again. As the mother reaches to answer it, the boy takes the phone away and says, “Soon you won’t even miss it,” or something like that. The mother smiles, the boy is cute, everyone’s happy. I’m lovin’ it.

Or not so much. I said out loud, “That’s bull crap. Tell that kid to give you back your phone.” Not that I oppose quality mother-child time, but when did it become okay for kids to dictate their parents’ behavior? And how does that advertise the food? That’s not really even branding, or if it is, it’s poor branding. Humanism, that’s what it is.

All these thoughts are running through my head, and then it dons on me: That was just a commercial. A commercial for fast food. Chill out.

I had a similar experience while taking a cruise with about a dozen friends last week. My kindred spirit Stephanie and I were walking through the ship, and as we passed by the main auditorium, one of the assistant cruise directors– a plump woman with a Southern accent– was standing at a mic trying to coax anyone who would listen into visiting the ship’s jewelry boutique.

“I’d like you to know, ladies and gentlemen, that we have a great selection of some of the highest quality of diamonds,” she crooned. “Now ask yourselves, ladies: Don’t you deserve a diamond? Yeah! Yeah, you do, that’s right!” The auditorium erupted into applause and several women cheered and elbowed their husbands in agreement.

I was appalled. Do I deserve a diamond? “No,” I said out loud. “I don’t deserve anything but death. That’s ridiculous.”

So okay, I may take things a little too seriously at times. But I say all of this because it speaks to a larger problem that is so rampant today: the feeling of entitlement. I recently attended a debutante ball because a little girl I babysit and love was going to be a trainbearer. The event itself was a lot of fun; music, dancing, delicious food, gorgeous gowns– but as the evening wore on, I became so jaded by all of the children and young adults who were being revered and exalted simply for having been born into privilege. I began to think of who these people will one day become: Homecoming Queens, Ivy Leaguers, Senior Vice Presidents... and some of them will have truly earned it. But others of them won’t, and they’ll think they have.

My point is, we don’t deserve anything. I know I’m being preachy right now, but I am sick to death of the symptoms of entitlement that I see everywhere in our culture. I am saved by grace and grace alone, and I have done NOTHING to earn it. My Savior is just that generous and good.

I just read a Psalm in which the psalmist decries those who amass riches, fame and status here on earth. Referencing the rampant slave trade of the time, he says that no man can buy a life or redeem it (Psalm 49:5-9). Doesn’t matter whose hands we shake, our only worth comes from the Lord and what we can contribute to His kingdom.

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 16:14

1 comment:

Holly Rowe said...

Katie...this is a delightful blog site that you have here. I totally agree with the McDonalds deal, the diamond deal, the debutante deal...Hmmm...I think a good, ol' chat IS, indeed, in store for us. Not that it wasn't before I read your blog...hahaha! Bbbbbut...it is enjoyable to talk to someone gets rubbed the wrong way by tv commercials. Anyways...not sure when i'll be coming up to dallas next...but hopefully soon. I'll let you know! Oh, and the job is going well! thanks for asking!