We live in a culture that celebrates fame, that celebrates money, that covets attention. This isn’t nostalgic judgment, this is a fact. Not long ago, the number one career aspiration for young kids was astronaut. Today, it’sYouTube star.
While there’s nothing wrong with making a living online, it does reveal a certain self-centeredness of today’s culture. We talked long ago about making sure we give our kids something to believe in—not in the religious sense necessarily but something that they look upwards at, aspire to. Well, it’s also important that that thing doesn’t become themselves.
In recovery circles, the phrase “higher power” comes up a lot. Again, this has a religious connotation, but the real reason accepting a higher power is part of the 12 Steps is because addicts have come to believe they are the center of the universe. They don’t care about anyone or anything but their own needs or pain. They don’t think anything is sacred but that next fix.
Nobody wants that for their kids. Which is why we have to work really hard to teach our kids that they are not the center of the universe. Life is not about fulfilling every bodily need. Social media is a dangerous place because it puts us at the whim of our ego—and the algorithm which feeds us.
We want our kids to worship things higher than themselves. We want them to have to stretch, not stoop to feel good. Give them real heroes, real ideas, real values to hold in high esteem. Let this be what they look up to, what their life is aimed at. Not vanity, not selfishness, not celebrity.