“One very common form of the blunder is to make modern conditions an absolute end, and then try to fit human necessities to that end, as if they were only a means. Thus people say, ‘Home life is not suited to the business life of today.’ Which is as if they said, ‘Heads are not suited to the sort of hats now in fashion.’” – G. K. Chesterton
How many times do we do this in our life? We start out with what we think we want for our life. And then we justify everything else from there.
The trouble is that what we think we want is not always compatible with how we were made to be. It doesn’t always take into account our legitimate human needs or, I dunno, what God wants for our life. What we think is much too silently skewed by the cultural expectations that happen to be the fashions of the day. It’s these cultural expectations that may be the most dangerous because they are often the most subtle – at least to us. To us they appear to be a given – an unchangeable constant – because they’ve been a consistent part of our environment for our entirely short lives.
But these cultural expectations – these fashions – impact our entire worldview. We can’t imagine another way of running our families. Of educating our children. Of governing society. We can’t imagine a different definition of “success.”
The way we measure the value of a person or a friendship. What we think we absolutely must have or accomplish to be happy in life. In all of this, we are skewed by fashions that we far too often treat as finalities.
And it’s not just the big questions. It’s the little stuff too. That nagging need to be “in the know” concerning pop gossip or the latest TV show. The lie that says success in life must be measured by a professional career, power, fame or money. The peer pressure to be plugged in to every social networking trend or new piece of technology. How may hours per day we should work? Where we should work? How we should work?
In many ways, our modern-day lifestyle is not suited for us. But instead of changing our lifestyle to best fit how the human person was made and the family designed, we look for shortcuts or make tragic sacrifices to try and force the human person and the family into the lifestyle of our choice. We’ve got it entirely backwards.
If you don’t feel satisfied in life or aren’t experiencing the kind of lasting Joy that you know you were made for, perhaps it’s because you’re intent on wearing a Hat that simply isn’t suited for your Head. If that’s the case, no matter how hard and long you try, you will never be happy. Never.