DON’T Do It … Even If It DOES Feel Good.

 

“If it feels good, do it!”

This is the mentality … the ethos …that has driven America since the 1960’s (Wanna shoot heroin?  If it feels good, do it!  Extramarital sex?  If it feels good, do it!  Damn the consequences!)

Consider films such as Dirty Harry and the Death Wish series.  People in an earlier era might’ve just shrugged off gun violence and gone on with their lives.

Not Harry Callahan.

Not Paul Kersey.

The underlying message of these films is, “Don’t bother with the police … Don’t bother with the system.  If you want justice, you have to take the law into your own hands.

“If going out and wasting the quote-unquote ‘bad guys’ all by yourself is going to make you feel good … do it.”


That’s NOT how the real world works.


I’ve given a great deal of thought to our nation’s recent spate of mass shootings (the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the recent shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas).  I believe a great many of these incidents are rooted in this mentality of “If it feels good, do it!”

We have people killing people in large numbers for no other reason than they thought they would get a thrill out of it.  They thought it would be something to add to the proverbial “bucket list” (“See Europe?  Check.  Blow away a crowded room full of people?  Check.”)

We have people who cannot abide the idea of living ordinary lives.  They crave recognition.  They crave attention.  As far as they’re concerned, if mowing down innocent people with an AR-15 rifle is what it takes for them to hit the “big time”, so be it.

And hit the big time they do.  Our society rewards their destructive behavior by showering them with the attention they so desperately crave.  Their lives and backgrounds are probed and exposed for all the world to see by the media (all in an effort to find a “motive” … a reason … an “explanation” … for their evil, criminal behavior).


It’s ultimately a matter of attitude.  We’ve ceased seeing people as human beings.  We don’t see people as individuals who have families and loved ones.

We as a society are losing our capacity for empathy.  We spend so much time relating to people through screens that we’ve forgotten how to relate to the living, breathing, flesh-and-blood, human beings that are all around us.

We’ve become accustomed to seeing people as a means of achieving OUR ends (as opposed to being ends in and of themselves).

Real Life is not like the movies.

What Have We Wrought?

 

I’m sure you’ve heard about the arrest of Martin Shkreli, the now-former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals who raised the price of a lifesaving medicine from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill literally overnight.

The company was fine with charging $13.50 per pill on Monday.  What happened?  What changed?  What could possibly have motivated them to raise the price of that same pill 4,000 percent on Tuesday, other than pure greed?

Is this what our society has come to?  Are we now raising a generation of young people who have absolutely no moral compass whatsoever?  Is a person’s worth as a human being now to be determined by their capacity to generate a fortune for someone else?

Mr.  Shkreli has done more in these past few weeks to hold up a mirror to our society than any theologian or philosopher has been able to do in the past thirty years.

Let’s be honest with our kids … Let’s be brutally honest:  Forget science and technology … forget our society’s endless pontificating about the importance of STEM (Read:  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).  It seems that our young people have learned all too well what our society REALLY values:  Grab The Cash and Go.  It doesn’t matter HOW you make your money or who you step on (or over) in the process, just so long as YOU make a pile.

Grab the waterfront house, the Porsche, and the sole existing copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s latest album.  Your “stuff”, the bling, what people see on the surface — that’s what REALLY matters (and if you should be caught making your fortune illegally … hey, that’s what lawyers are for).

Had Mr. Shkreli not been caught (allegedly) engaging in securities fraud, certain sectors of our society would be praising him to the heavens as a savvy businessman.

Man is more than a mere animal that lusts and grabs for its existence.  To be human is to possess a conscience (I wonder if Mr. Shkreli himself would mind his being deprived of a lifesaving drug for want of his ability to pay its exorbitant cost).

The mere fact that we as a society CAN do something … that we are CAPABLE of doing something … does not in and of itself necessitate that we SHOULD do it.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have”  (Hebrews 13:5).