I’m not into touchy-feely, feel-good speeches. I’m all about tough love. But when artists, pop culture idols, politicians, actors, and the like are praised for performing long soliloquies on the state of humanity, I grow weary and wonder why this nonsense is being uplifted as gospel. The chaotic messages that are dominated by TV personalities and the entertainment industry are targeted at our youth. Impressionable minds that are sorting out who they are and what they want to do are vulnerable to messages that exude self-fulfillment. But talk is cheap when there is no substance to follow.
The climate strikes that occurred across countries happened for a day. People were posting on social media in anticipation of their local events with pictures of their cardboard signs, messages of “Do something or we’ll be dead in 12 years!” But then, it all faded and everyone went on using single-use plastic water bottles, eating off of paper plates and grilling their favourite steak. This, ladies and gents, is a movement that derives its power from feelings, not reality.
I’m all for promoting scientific fact above hysteria and I understand that public figures are the tools used to spread the message. But I also understand marketing and how effective it can be to plaster an actor’s face over junk food and call it healthy in order to drive sales. When it comes to discussing matters of humanity, well, that’s different. When I see individuals using their platforms to establish a message of hope like Tim Tebow, I see the strength to build a generation. Giving people the tools to build their lives, reach for greater things and to help those around them, that is a message I can get behind.
A recent video emerged of Hollywood actor Jason Momoa, who plays the role of Aquaman. Momoa, plays make-believe for a living, was at the United Nations reading yet another script. This time, it was one of despair, placing guilt into the hearts of both the young and the old. He preached: “As a human family, through innovation and creativity, we have elevated ourselves and perceivably stand as the most powerful beings on earth. Yet our ego, our fear, and our relentless drive for profits have made us the only species willing to force disharmony with the natural balance of our world. We are a disease that is infecting our planet.”
It’s kind of ironic that a Hollywood actor would be given the authority to lecture a gathering of global heads because of his ability to recite words about the “relentless drive for profits” and how humanity is a “disease infecting our planet.” This actor is one of the top 10 paid actors in Hollywood, and was more than happy to take part in a movie that was filmed in Canada, United States, Italy, Morocco and Australia. The travel that it took to create Aquaman, added that much more of the unnecessary greenhouse gases that Momoa says he’s against.
Our “human family” is not just “another species” mindlessly walking this planet. We hold intrinsic value; our value is far more than that of the trees and animals around us. We are not mere matter, Momoa, so stop devaluing who we are.
This brings to mind what some may say is a taboo within today’s world to discuss, well, that’s never held me back, so here it goes. The push to remove God from society is where this type of thinking occurs. This results in a lack of hope within the individual. We devalue each other’s lives and see one another as problems. If there is no God, then human beings are just material beings whose worth is nothing more than the matter which they are composed of. We must remember that we are created in God’s image. When we see others through that lens, we begin to treat them differently. We value each other; we seek justice in a fulfilling manner and strive to care for everything around us.
In the words of Dennis Prager, “we are either created in the image of carbon atoms and therefore, not worth much more than carbon, or we are created in the image of God and therefore, infinitely valuable.” Which society do you want to walk around in? A society that sees you as a disease, devalues the lives of all those around them? Or, would you want to live in a society that sees one another as equal, beautiful, full of worth and deserving of protection?
Our secular post-Judeo-Christian society has elevated your cat to the same place of significance as your mom. Now, if you have an overbearing mom, you might feel like this is the right worldview, but it’s not.
Society’s denial of the authority of higher values means people increasingly make moral decisions based on how it makes them feel. When we get rid of Judeo-Christian values, there is no longer any reason for elevating humans above animals. That’s why so many people in Hollywood support groups like PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In one of their campaigns, “Holocaust on Your Plate” they suggest that grilling your favourite cut of meat on the BBQ is equal to the Holocaust.
Hypocrisy has always been with us. What’s worrying, however, is how it’s rewarded these days. And no group of people rewards hypocrisy more than Hollywood. They say they believe in a cause yet live contrary to the messages that they spread. If it is the truth, and you believe it, it should compel you to take action, make changes within your sphere of influence, and live differently than you have so that your life matches your convictions. Like a great man once told me, there’s a lot of smart people in this world, but there are not a lot of conviction-driven people in this world. He was correct.
The good news is this: You are valuable. Your voice, your actions, who you are is of importance. So what you lend your time and energies to should not be random or spread far and wide. Your unique abilities and gifts should be placed in the arenas that you are passionate about. Your life is a message. Living out what you believe is far greater than standing on a stage and delivering a speech that aligns itself with cultural trends. Be better than the celebrity ruckus, live authentically and hold fast to your convictions.