Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What Matters?

Back on January 20, I reflected on a homily and asked why people are not as excited about God as about Ray Lewis.  With all respect to a person who is one of the best at the position he played for 17 years, I have to ask: so what?  And this is reflecting comments from my wife and from the director of religious education at my church on Facebook yesterday.

Why did tens of thousands take time out for a parade and gathering?  So a bunch of player were deemed the best at what they do as a team among a group of professional teams.  Why does it matter?

And why does it matter more than anyone else who is among the best at what they do?  If we had a Nobel prize winning scientist at JHU, would they get a parade from City Hall to the hospital or the Homewood campus?  Probably not.

And, do we only need to recognize people who are among the best at what they do?  I don't think so. What about people who have achieved milestones in their own lives.  Each residential member of Back on My Feet who breaks the cycle that brought them to a facility in the first place.  Each runner who sets a goal of running a marathon and achieves it.  Each physician who helps someone overcome or manage a condition.  Each person who loses five pounds.

I suppose that not all achievements are equal.  What I wonder is why we, as a society, put so much value on some achievements and so little on others.  I don't have a good answer.  As an economist, I would say there is a market and the market rewards what is deemed to be worthy.  I just wonder why we deem to be worthy a bunch of guys on a football field and not the people who help to education and raise our children--at least not at the same level.  If a city improves, why are its leaders not just as worthy.  And I listed other examples above.

I am not here to judge what other people should find worthy.  (If I had commented on today's readings one thing that caught my attention was a statement about striving for peace with everyone, so I am not trying to get on anyone's case.)  I am just saying that I don't understand why we as a society think certain things deserve so much more attention and fanfare.

No comments:

Post a Comment