Monday, August 06, 2007

vanity is the delusion that someone is paying attention

i think this is simply going to be a commentary, on life i guess, but random... as life should be. i have no clue what i am going to write about, but here goes.

as i sat back at a random coffee shop in the middle of LA i saw a rather large car pull up in front. out came the driver who i later assumed was the daughter, she looked too compassionate and genuine  to be hired. the elderly lady in the back was helped up and began to walk rather slowly into the cafe'. but there was something peculiar about this woman, you see her legs were obviously frail; i deducted this by the slow walking pace and rather alarmingly turtle like cruise control that she put upon her own two legs. but her face. it caught me by surprise, and it wasn't a second glance look like a car accident or the likes, it was a solid wide eyed mouth open second glance. her face and neck had been, well hollywooded. her lips tripled the size of mine in weight and stature. her face was so pulled back i expected to see skin and not hair on the back of her head. her neck looked as though the driver was restraining it, or trying to choke her neck behind her. all in all her face looked half the age of her body. but who was she fooling, the skin on her arms looked more like a map of new york city subway system and less fitting to her face. which i guess is the point.  which is a rather mute point at a certain point in life. i am not trying to criticize this elderly woman, i'm simply wondering how much of our lives is a front to hide our insecurity's. how much is what we participate in a veneer for keeping up with the image we think we need. we as white washed tombs, on the outside we may look pure and holy, but on the inside lie dead men's bones. why are you in that job? is this really what you wanted to be doing with your life, or is it just for the tittle, distinction, or the possessions what you earn will afford. are these your dreams? or are you pretending for the notoriety it might someday bring. "you are not your khaki's",  is this the school or major you wanted, or is this the plastic surgeons work to make you look better to others than you really are.

flying is a rather tedious percentage of my career, but i am in no way complaining. i remember when i was a kid that i had counted the number of times i had flown on a makeshift calender and lost count after 37 or so, which for a kid is less of a number than a fact you can bring up in show and tell when you forget your last birthday present. i don't know why a lot of us have this "wunder lust" or wander lust as 'meine mutter' puts it. its just the fact that this world is smaller than it was for our parents and i actually have the opportunity to see it. for a nominal fee i can fly to places that a family could live out their days on the cost of the airline ticket just to get there... which is not the point. the point is i don't understand why we don't travel more, maybe it is fear of the unknown, or pickpockets, or whatever. either way its a beautiful world out there, and honestly one seems more attractive to the opposite sex when you can say hello in a couple different language. which is the point.

the point to what.... i wonder if we could reproduce asexually what would be considered worthwhile and meaningful in this world. people drive nice cars to impress people, we want to impress people so they notice us, we want to be noticed for attention, we want attention so that one day we could gain their affection, we like affection because it brings emotional attachment, we want emotional attachment cause that gets us... well to reproduce. in college i made this elongated chart which brought everything in life back to reproduction. sad, yes, but true. why did the old lady get plastic surgery, true she did not want to reproduce, but she wanted all the extra curricular that comes along with it. she wanted to be adored, affection, attachment, etc. think about it, you don't see grandpa reading GQ or men's vogue, because he does not care. the farther from reproduction one is the farther one distances himself/herself to fitting in, or trying to impress the opposite sex. at  this point I'm rambling but for those who sit down and think about this central theme of the world revolving around 'genetic donation' the more this world becomes seemingly depressing. but not really. its life. its random and frustrating at moments.
face lifts on airplanes, might sell well in this country!
"lifts on the lift" quick, someone patent it.

amendment: someone in the comments wrote: "Vanity is the delusion that someone is paying attention". toche!

64 comments:

miss lynn said...

I very much appreciate your randomness. "Lifts on a lift" is hilarious!

David Malcolm said...

Enjoyed the read. But not all of us enjoy romance to get to reproduction. The fact is I can't really feel terribly attracted to anyone I could reproduce with... well I mean I can think she's nice... but the whole sex thing just seems weird.
To be honest, I like the idea of detaching romance from reproduction. It's less like you're using the person and more like you're loving them. Then again... this is the perspective you have when you're gay.

guard my dreams said...

well, i seem to have taken an entirely different look on this whole post from the other comments, but here i go.

i could not agree more about the central theme of this blog, about the masks that people wear to try and appear more appealing to others.

i myself tend to have trouble with this issue, because i tend to have a low level of confidence in myself, so i hide behind, in particular, my clothing choice and make-up. though i know that you guys out there cant really relate to this, hang in there with me. i always hide who i really am behind my t-shirts and jackets, and all for what? i honestly dont know.

i am so afraid of people, even my closest friends, seeing the true me that i hide behind anything that i possibly can, even to the point of hiding my emotions and my inability to even cry. and all for what? i honestly dont know.

why dont i want people to see the true me? why dont i believe in myself more? i need to. im trying to. but its hard going.

so there is my rant for the day. im sorry for the extreme length of it all, but i actually tend to think about the subject a lot.

tehillim said...

i tend to think that all the plastic surgery, all the expensive make-up [really, places like sedona just piss me off], all the fancy designer clothes and bags and latest fashions...obviously they hide us. im not saying fashion is a bad thing, and i think that beauty is a wonderful thing to evoke, but i do think its something that has been perverted to create a social caste system that prevents fellowship and encourages gossip. we're up against a clever enemy.

as for the reproduction theory, im with you but i think generally speaking its more that we want the act of reproducing than the kids, sadly. hence the condoms during the one-night stands. cheap trick was on to something. we are a generation starved of and crying out for Love. and Christ is moving to answer it, fortunately.

Chris said...

Wow! I need to reflect more on this commentary to comment, but your post reminded me of a quote I read many years ago..."Vanity is the delusion that someone is paying attention".

More later...

maya said...

If humans could reproduce without requiring the opposite sex, then maybe the world would be less concerned about vanity and possibly crave less attention.

But then I started thinking, would the world become a place centered around greed, around craving a different kind of attention - such as envy? Would the world become a dryer place with less of a motivation for companionship?

Makes for an interesting short film.

Andrew said...

If people could reproduce asexually, I think the world would be a lot more crowded! (That is, if somehow it held the same amount of pleasure...)

I hardly ever travel. I've only been out of the country once (to Ensenada on a cruise, if that counts...) and I've only been out of state once (Las Vegas). I'm not concerned about terrorism and safety...money is the main issue for me. But I'd love to see the rest of the world before I die.

PS Thanks for helping out in India. That's one of the places I want to go.

Anonymous said...

Mmm. The idea that sex is central to life, in its literal sense is true. Desire on the other hand...it just seems a bit Freudian. (I'm not expressing this very well.) What I mean is I hate the idea of humans as lustful creatures controlled by their id (or animalistic instinct). Then again it would explain attraction to some extent - typically women like men with big muscles - this relates to man as the protector. And guys like women with large breasts - this relates to the woman as nurturer of offspring...(perhaps?)
All that kind of disgusts me but how can I separate myself from my own race - humanity?
Once again a thought provoking read...but I can draw no real conclusions - perhaps this will come with time.

kris said...

"Vanity is the delusion that someone is paying attention."

i like that. i do. however, most people would start harping on the word delusion as the main point. but the first part of your 'reproduction flow chart' was just as important and true. it is attention that all humans starve for. for the record: regardless if it is in the manner she intended, it is not so much a delusion for that elderly woman, if she succeeded in grabbing your attention, now is it?

now i'm a firm believer that we are our own worst critcs. i happened to work part of my more recent "adult" life as a makeup artist for 3 years; and whether it be just makeup, or plastic surgery, or even perfect camera angles for pictures on myspace, we've all done it. why? because under the constant scrutiny of being looked at under society's magnifying glass, people (whether for brief or extended moments) feel beautiful and accepted. there's no denying that there is a very obvious (and selective) structure to society, but i still find it amazing that people feel beautiful enough (at their most vulnerable moments sometimes) to drop their walls and share it with the rest of the world.

it is when people let this moment consume them that ultimately (i think) turns in to vanity.

the desire to reproduce is more of a final [natural] installment of growing up or human accomplishment in life, that possibly comes from the instinctive nature of what we are to do as animals...similar to the instinctive actions to survive; which can be interelated. the attention, the affection, and the emotional attachment are the extras that help the process along.

i refer to this often, but it was you who shared with me that as humans we have no (evolutionary) need for color (amber waves of grain, colbolt blue sunsets).

so where does love fit in with this talk of "the need for" attention/affection/emotional attachment? or is it instinctive [for humans] as well? man was alone at one point in this world, and until he knew what lonliness felt like, it didn't exist. but as the human mind grew enough to fathom and feel such a concept, we didn't need love; it didn't exist (at least not between or with another human) and neither did attention.

i don't know if i've come full circle, right back to where i started. granted it is 4am. i suppse in the end, maybe we only have ourselves to blame.

Anonymous said...

At least from a girls perspective, at the end of the day all we want is to be beautiful to someone.It may not be a life ambition, but to the heart it matters. Don't deny it ladies. To some, they will go to any means to get that affirmation. Age doesn't change the need to know.

who can make sense of it all? said...

Vanity is the quicksand of reason- George Sands

andrya said...

"how much of our lives is a front to hide our insecurity's" - wow. im speechless. i cant even begin to formulate something to write about that right now, but that quote will sit in my head for quite some time. and the travel thing...this is where i wish i had friends and was more brave. i have no friends to travel with and im not brave enough to go alone...but one day...i will see the world! i have hope in that. thanks for your thoughts and words stephen...

Orrin said...

I don't think everything is about reproduction, some of it is just the fact that we love ourselves so much, the getting attention of others is something we've picked up along the way and goes along with it. I like the fight club reference and I think a big part of that line of thinking is this love of hubris. after all many people in this world refuse to believe that God has anything for them when so many other people in the world have just shown them jealousy or love for just themselves.. that teaches us that the only person we can actually rely on is ourselves and that elevates our status with ourselves to (for some) greater then even God. I think that is one of the greatest failures that I've experienced in the past and one I constantly work to move beyond.

eugenia said...

not meant to be rude but, isn't the irony in this being that online journals still mask your true self? it's an outlet for saying what you might not really tell others if it were in person

well i don't support covering up as in plastic surgery, but still, beauty is somewhat necessary evil?. it takes courage. i don't blame the old woman, more on society.

haha well i guess im younger than most, i dont see the world as reproduction yet but i get what you mean. for me, stops at emotional attachment, to reenforce confidence, i guess. then you'll start to show more of yourself with that trust. kind of twisted in a way, dont you think

ah well.

liz said...

Yeah. I agree with you. "We're busy doing nothing cuz it's vanity we prize." It just made me think of that.

Gabrielle said...

Stephen-

I can not tell you how much you mean to me in just words. Reading your blog is so amazing. You are such an interesting person, with so many qualities.

I know what you mean. So many people this world get plastic surgery and pay thousands of dollars to look younger than they really are. It's like why can't they just be grateful for what God gave them and grow old gracefully? My mom and dad want to do that, and so I think I should follow in their footsteps. I think it's ridiculous to go under the knife for something that doesn't need to be done... not like surgery that is need to save your life. Or those stupid collagen fillings. Whatever. I'm just going to ignore those. I don't need any of that crap.

And then when you said we want attention. Yes, this is totally true for me. I know it sounds to totally weird, but I have wanted a boyfriend since I was 6. I've been thinking about love for awhile, I've seen it everywhere. Sex is not my priority in life. I could live life without ever having sex if I had to. I just want that emotional attachment, someone I can love, someone who loves me....everything like that. I mean, sure...once I get married it goes without saying if I want children. But I am not going to be some slut going around town, looking at every guy thinking of sex. No way, I'm not like that. Some people say I'm too naive, or too innocent for my own good. I don't care. I would rather be that way than anything else.

It's weird though, I want guys to notice me, yet I don't want to put the effort forth that I need to in order to look pretty. My mom tells me that I look so pretty when I dress nice, and wear make-up....but most of the time, I don't feel like doing that. I don't know anymore. I thought a guy would like me for the way I really am, not the way I pretend to be. But I guess I need to wear makeup and cute clothes for guys to notice me. I see a huge difference between that, and when I don't. Guys are all over me when I dress pretty. I'm kind of sick of it.

I know what you mean about jobs. Some people do it just to make money...and not to do what they love. I love to write poetry, and such, so I really want to be an author and/ or kindergarten teacher. Now, I might need another job to hold me over...but that's not saying I won't like it.

And also, I would like to see the rest of the world. I'm always stuck in this little so called world of mine...and I hardly see anything that is out there. I've only been to Seattle, and Kona, Hawaii. I've never been to another country, or more states. I need to be aware that there is more to this world than this little city I live in. When I went to my grandparent's house...it was amazing to see different places, and be in a whole new city.

It opened my eyes...and made me a whole lot happier, instead of being stuck inside my room all day while having severe depression. Now, if you ever go on one of those trips of yours to India again, I would love to come. I would love to help out and do something for myself and show what I can do.

I wish I read your blog sooner, because it's so interesting. I love everything you write, it truly makes me think. I'm just glad I found out about it when I did. It has really helped in life. You mean the world to me. You'll never know how you truly mean to me, because it's hard to say with words. You're so sweet. And I really loved reading this, and the rest of your blogs.

Love ya,
~ELLE~
(Gabrielle Scott)
Ha, ha...recognize my name from somewhere? LOL.

Heather said...

Heh..Lifts on a lift.

Interesting blog, very true. Random is alwyas the way to go.

Margaret said...

I agree with you about more people needing to travel the world to see the beauty of what God has created, to appreciate life and maybe to also see that yes we are all the same-human (no matter where we live or our culture). The one thing that I am learning about this 'wander lust' is that it is not only destroying the environment by emiting more carbon into the ozone, but the more I wander this world, the more I realize that I am only running away from my problems and not dealing with them head on. Yes, I am living in a different country from the one I originated from, but I am learning so much more here, not because I am in a differend culture, but because I am in God's will staying here, rather than continually traveling.

Sometimes man can only see what is in front of his eyes, rather than the bigger picture that God paints. This is why we need to learn who we are, to become the person God wants us to be, to change the world how He wants us to change the world.

Dressing to impress the opposite sex won't get you anywhere, but into more trouble. You won't learn more about yourself, only that you are running away from something deeper inside.

We shouldn't live to impress, but live to magnify-Christ (Our creator)that is and all he has created. Be natural in the way He has created you to be.

Lexi said...

I just was having a conversation the other night in which I joked about the prospect of asexual reproduction as being my only viable option. Welcome to the land of the semi-jaded.

Life is far too fleeting for vanity. I observe the Barbie-esque as if they were a museum exhibit and wonder how they have the time for all of that upkeep.

In my humble opinion, natural beauty is by far the most supreme.

I want to be with someone in love with me...and I mean ME. The only person worthy of my time is someone who can see me when I'm messy, just rolled out of bed in my sweatpants, didn't feel like washing my hair today, glasses instead of contacts for a change ME and honestly say, "You're beautiful."

It's easy and trite to hear that when you've spent an eternity dolling yourself up for a night out, but valuable in the case of the aforementioned. I've only found it once, but I'm certain the rest of my life will be spent searching for it or fighting like hell to hold onto it.

This is the body, face, etc. that I was blessed with, and if I can't love it as it is, how can I expect others to? And, the real question... do I actually have any concern in the world for if they do or not? Not particularly.

I'm thinking tomorrow's a sweatpants day...

Lexi said...

Postscript: I became the black sheep of my family when I opted to live the life of an artist, whether that be a starving one or not.

Yet, it's been one of the most rewarding decisions of my life.

Antoinette said...

Like most people, I eventually want to see the world.. if I could I'd travel all the time. There's so much more out there to experience; whenever I get home after trips I always realize how boring my city is and how much I waste my life sometimes.

Of course we all want attention; we all want to feel needed and like we belong. Your first impression of a person is mostly based on a person's appearance. I think sometimes we really should care about our appearance.. like a job interview -- you send the message that you don't care about the job if you go wearing sweats and a wrinkly shirt. But there's a problem when it's someone's appearance that defines them. I don't see a point in trying to be someone else or changing ourselves to impress others; a relationship wouldn't be worth it if I can't be myself. I still haven't learned to just completely be who I am, even with my friends, and I think sometimes people are so worried about how they look because they believe their personality alone won't be good enough.

sj. said...

wowowowow! haha. im speechless reading this. very good.

Anna said...

I agree, but only to a point.

An animal's existence revolves around survival and reproducing. The human has those same goals/driving forces/impetuses, but they differ due to the fact that they have souls.

The soul's existence does not revolve around sex or reproducing; the body's existence does.

Usually the human allows the impulses and desires of the body to take control of their actions. That's why it appears everything loops around to reproduction.

Both the soul and the body co-exist in one being, thus causing a paradox.

I understand your point and as I said before I agree to a certain extent, but underneath there is more than just vanity and the sex drive.

sarah.elaine said...

brilliant ponderings, as usual.
i've actually been wondering why women today can't accept growing older as a form of beauty.
everyone is fighting wrinkles and gray hair, etc.
but i think growing older is a beautiful thing!
i love seeing little old ladies sans makeup and fancy clothes, just being happy and living the last of their life to the fullest!
it's sheer beauty.
if God didn't intend us to age, we wouldn't.
if it wasn't intended to be a thing of beauty, it probably wouldn't happen.
i wish more people could get past the vanity and see life and beauty in everything.

dana said...

hello
hola
bonjour
hallo
buona sera
:)

ironically, the farthest east i have been in this great land of ours is montana. but i've been to london, and toured at least six cities in Italy by the time i was nine. (the last greeting is my favorite)

i keep thinking that i'm not vain in the least bit, just because i was one of the few girls in my high school who didn't wear make-up on a regular basis or who didn't fuss about wearing the latest labels. but everyone has a certain amount of vanity, if they care about their appearance. to give it up entirely has always been difficult, but this generation seems to have made it almost impossible, even for those excluded from the ruling societal set.

i admitted to myself long ago that attention was definitely what i sought, and now looking back on my high school years it seemed that it was the drive that kept my head up. i may have tried to tell myself it was God, but it was still there, an underlying tone all the while.

keep writing. la amo.

dana said...

oh yeah, and i forgot to comment on your patented phrase like everyone else.

why not? you said it.

"lifts on a lift." you were rambling a bit, weren't you?

Danielle said...

i, um, my nick name at camp was Random Girl. haha, ironic, rite? i think your rite, and personally, i made a vow to never get plastic surgery! (unless needed from car accident, etc) personally, everyone thinks that, or says that "its what's on the inside that counts" right. everyone knows thats only part of it. harsh truth, but its true. some people try to pretend that they dont matter, but everyone knows that "whats in the heart" is one part. there's many. thanks for sharing,
Danielle

Daniel said...

Neat timing on this post. The Gospel reading in churches that follow the Revised Common Lectionary last Sunday was Luke 12:13-21. Take a read if you have a minute, I think the point is that, unfortunately for at least the past 2000 years we as a human race can become so focused, obsessed really with our own possesions or things or what other think of us that it can take our focus away from God, what He is teaching us and where He is leading us.

I guess a good question to always have in front of us is "Why?" Why did I choose that particular haircut, or clothing or job or whatever...was it to draw attention to myself, to mask insecurities? "Why" is always a good question to ask in numerous aspects of our lives. Someone once told me, it's good to know what you believe, but better to know why you believe what you believe. Definitely wise words.

Daniel+

claire marie said...

Your stream of consciousness thoughts in this blog are quite poetic. The words not only provoke thought but are introspective and create curiousity at the same. It's refreshing to have someone induldge in their thoughts more than just what's "cool" or "hot" at the moment. Kudos.

Mara the Butterfly said...

I think I disagree slightly on your theory that everything comes back to reproduction. I think that, at least for females, it has far more to do with security than it does with reproduction or sex. We want to be loved and cherished. We want to be worthy. We want to be chased and held and kept and pursued and protected. However, we live in a society that says we're not good enough. Probably 75% of the ads we see on billboards and television and magazines a day to day basis are showing us that our hair isn't big and shiny enough and that our skin isn't flawless enough and that our bodies aren't shaped right, etc. Now, all that would matter far less if people loved each other anyway, but we're taught to pursue those things, and it ruins everything in us that is worthy of real love. Look at the television shows that we watch in between those ads. Men leave women all the time because they get bored or they get angry or they 'find someone else' and whatnot. And with that, there went security. We are taught by society that if we aren't good enough, we will be abandoned, and that 'good enough' revolves around sex (because, again, we're taught that sex=love and love=sex to the point where we can't tell the difference). Your plastic faced friend from the coffee shop probably just wants someone to keep her above all else. To a woman, reproduction (I'm assuming that we're talking about sex when we say that) feels like security. He wants me, so he must love me. I'll give it to him and then he'll love me. He'll love me and then he'll keep me. Unfortunately, however, that's not how things happen. We revolve around our own happiness, and our pursuit of that ruins us far more often than it achieve it's goal. Unlike most things, happiness is not achieved by chasing it.

Long story short, I believe we want to be loved above all else. Love is what we really need, and we look for that in all the wrong places and try to get it through all the wrong things.

On a different note, this blog is inspiring and makes me want to write more songs. Thanks for that!

Sincerely,
Mara Tenille

themockingbyrd said...

Yes, yes, I recognize that I'm late, but far be it from me to pass up the chance to engage in such a conversation. Incidentally, I've been travelling.

I'm inclined to agree mostly with Mara. I know that in my case, at least, Blindside was right when they said that "All of us are searching for an open arm."

I am. I'm beginning to roll the thought around my head that there is inside each of us something small, vulnerable, wounded and incredibly eager, and it just wants to be warm, and secure, and loved.

I just want to be warm and secure and loved. I know that, and that almost everything I do is built around coming as close as I can to a place of security for that small essence inside of myself.

And I've come to realize that that interior self can and will only be happy and secure in the hands of God, that the only real peace and happiness I can find isn't in another person.

At any rate, I think Mara is right, and that we feel like we're closer to that security by way of sex, and additionally, at a certain point, there is just that animal drive in our bodies that gets in the way of what the soul wants.

I think though, that vanity, (and I'm very vain. I know that, too.) is simply a part of us trying to make that interior comfortable, and shield ourselves from a cruel world.

*shrug *

themockingbyrd said...

Ps. After all eunuchs need friends, too. ;)

Lizzy said...

interesting. isn't it interesting that the less someone seems eager to varnish themselves to please the their perception of society, the more they distance themselves from meaningful society, from reality, from the of just for once being ok with themselves.
isn't it interesting that we are scared of drawing attention to ourselves for who we are. we still crave attention, so we try to draw the eyes of everyone around, to look at this contrived thing that is anything but us. maybe it's a control issue. interesting that the people who ditch their masks intrigue us and scare us the most. and of course it all leads to reproduction. who wouldn't want to have sex with the first real person they came across? the genuine mystery would be overwhelming.

jessi said...

even seahorses turn bright colors and dance in circles, when they want to attract the attention of a potential mate.
whether we're really actually trying to find a mate of our own or not, we always want to be desirable. and some people just don't know when to give up, like that elderly woman. but hey... welcome to LA.

привет ("hello")

Anonymous said...

i had plastic surgery at 16 to "fix" something "wrong" with my body. i'm happy i did it - not because i feel beautiful now, but because i feel "normal." People can notice me and not my problem, although as y'all have stated, it's pride to believe they were noticing either in the first place.

So was it the right thing or the best thing to do? i don't know. i'm quite the hypocrite now when i spout the "you are fearfully and wonderfully made" verse to the middle school girls i work with.

But I wonder what "perfection" looked like in the Garden of Eden and what effect sin has had on that over the years...many things that officially fall under our physical deformity category (i.e. cleft lip) i can't envision being in God's original plan for us. but maybe i'm wrong about that - i'm open to that idea.

I agree that society has created an unrealistic image and labeled it beauty, but I also believe that the very first people to be created in "God's image" were more unrealistically beautiful than we can imagine.

maybe adjusting/changing your physical appearance is most often a mask to hide insecurities. but i also think it can allow you to accept some insecurities, be real with people, and become more of the person you are supposed to be.

all that to say, in regards to vanity, you do need to draw a line somewhere, but maybe that line is in one place for me and another for you.

guard my dreams said...

i know your desire is to be desired

in the words of a lyrical genius.

Nicole Rork said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicole Rork said...

I changed my mind. I agree to some point that it comes down to reproduction, but as a female I beg to differ. I believe we sell ourselves short to feel loved even if we're just fooling ourselves. Seeking is never satisfactory. I think it's only natural to feel the need to keep up with the Joneses which is rather unfortunate. I wonder what the world would be like if we were all weren't so materialistic.

zephaniah317 said...

I agree that we're far too concerned with image and, yes, reproduction. We've gotten to a point in America where it's more about drawing people to yourself (living "outside-in") than drawing them to God (i.e., loving them; living "inside-out"). Sex is the FRUIT of relationship, not the GLUE that holds it together, as we've so horribly twisted it around. I mean, what if someone was ill or had an accident and became impotent or in-fertile? What then? Should they be sent out of the city like a leper? It's all about our hearts and God bringing them together. (it's not like I've got this all applied in my life yet, but at least I have it right in my head)

Nice post. Thanks.

Angel said...

"..we want emotional attachment cause that gets us... well to reproduce..."

Are you implying that the only purpose of a romantic relationship is to eventually reproduce? If so, I completely disagree. While the "natural" course of things seems to include the whole "two people fall in love and get married and punch out 2.5 children" and yadda yadda, there are still some who are more in need (or rather, want) of someone who can provide good intellectual intercourse, rather than a "mate" whose only role in the end is to be a donor.

Also, what about those who don't want children?

Kaila said...

It's so hard to not be vain at my age. Everyone in high school judges people on looks. If you are good-looking, people assume you are arrogant. If you are unattrative, people probably won't like you. I hang out with a group of boys and sometimes it makes me a little insecure. They all see me as a friend and when they talk about other "hot" girls or "ugly" girls, it makes me want to look my best around them at all times.

Of course, I spend about an hour and a half getting ready everyday so I can look good because yes, I want guys to find me attrative and yes, I would love a boyfriend right now.

I guess my desperation for love from a boyfriend just shows I am not getting affection in other places where I need it...

Hayne Begley said...

I could echo what everyone else said, but I just wanted to give you props on your Fight Club quote.

Lizzy said...

i've come down with impetego [a skin disease], which seems to put a new spin on this idea of beauty-for-the-purpose-of-love/sex. at the moment i look like i have leprosy on my face, and my boyfriend agrees, but he doesn't seem to mind. which i appreciate. would his reaction be the same if i contracted a disease that made me gain gross amounts of weight and completely obliterated by [moderately nice] body shape? i don't know.

Chris said...

I'm finally back...

We can easily change our outward appearance in simple or extravagant ways; but do we really change ourselves? Can one be captivated by a pure and honest heart that is willing to put others first and not be consumed with self-gratification in any sense of the word? We all seem to want something that we don't have in one way or another. It can become an obession for some. We all want to be loved and accepted. How far would we go to feel love and acceptance? I'm sure we would think the answer is different for each of us. I don't think it's wrong to want to look/feel beautiful. It's more of how much it consumes you to the point that you don't recognize much but a reflection of yourself.

p.s. hope you enjoyed your night in Ohio

Seth said...

I like to think that the world can be idealistic and that love would triumph over all things sexual. But then again im what some would call a hopeless romantic. Women especially can get burned, many of the ones i know put their hearts out on the line trying to find love but get nothing but a man who wants that reproduction or the act of it.

We often hide our true selves because of fear. Thinking that no one can love the true me because im just not good enough. And that is a tragedy because you are created by God dont insult Him by thinking you arent good enough.. i like to think that love is out there for all of us. (Once again hopeless romantic.)

Hopefully this is of some encouragement "Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4.

Anonymous said...

if love is blind, then why do we try so hard to "look the part?"

Anonymous said...

I truely think that being vain is just a way to hide us from something we do not want to show. It's not just to attract attention. Yes, I agree to a certain extent that some people do use it to be the centre of attraction, but I'm sure most people don't. I simply don't see the point in dolling up for show.

I enjoyed reading the post. Thank you so much for the wonderful entry!

Jennifer said...

"... It is often nothing but our own vanity that decieves us."-Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice

desiree said...

I think you hit on a major nerve ending with this one....Appearance is one of the most "worried" about things, and we all wear so many masks in order to "improve" or change what we have been given in order to try and impress a bunch of people who might not even be around us the next day. It's ridiculous, when you think about it, anyway.

I agree about the "wander lust." I've been blessed to go to several different countries, and miss traveling like crazy. It really does open your eyes about God and the world going to a far different country than your own. I just barely began to realize the "size" of God going to a couple of countries that straddle Europe and Asia. It was amazing! God-willing, I'll go back for my vocation!

Thank you for your words. It's another way for people to realize that they're not alone in the ways they think....

Rach said...

I disagree that life is all about sex.

I would say that it all boils down to desire, not necessarily for sex, but for something 'more'.

I think all people are born with an inherent desire for God. That gift of a hunger and curiosity for God is, of course, not enough to save us, but it is God's common grace on us.

So, in a sense, we do all want to be loved and adored, but I disagree with sex being the end-all desire simply because for some people it is not enough. I think that this inherent desire for God and the peace and joy that is found in him is what drives most of us to pursue any temporal joy we may be able to obtain.

Dani said...

was his point REALLY that life is ALL about sex?? i mean, come on.

Laura said...

I completely agree with this. Every magazine, every TV show theme, every lyric, it all leads back to one thing. reproduction.

at the end of the day, we're all animals. we just have more than one mating season.

dani said...

a LOT of it is... but for a lot of people its not their FIRST priority.

Rach said...

true, Dani, but his point was about society as a whole

miksiemanym said...

I agree with Andrew, while almost all of my daydreams take place somewhere far away from here (the middle of nowhere Wisconsin) I lack the money to chase any of those dreams right now.

They used to say that love made the world go round, I'd have to say that nowadays its money and lust that spin us around.

guard my dreams said...

after thinking on the topic of this post further, its really hit me harder than i expected. would life truly be different if we reproduced asexually? i think it would be drastically different. the whole point of a teenager's life would not be to get a gorgeous boyfriend/girlfriend. but sadly that is what ends up happening. and why? because of this internal need to be cared for emotionally, physically, finacially, ect.

yes, i do realize that this is my third comment on this post, but its one of your best, i think and i have recently found myself reading it over and over again.

plus, i wanted to have more comments that mockingbyrd. haha.

Chris DiDonna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I choose to be an emotionless (is that a word?) person, and it helps with the attachment issue, because I got none. At least none that is in close proximity...

I'm more emotional towards other creatures of God though, or to those not within my reach. when the one I loved and loved me back decided I wasn't his best interest, I didn't even shed a tear! (probably means I never loved him hahaha) But when I read the news about the Chinese river dolphin that went extinct, or when Steve Irwin died, tears poured freely. Anyway, I wish I could travel more... See things (before they disappear forever) that our future kids may never see due to man's unlimited needs and wants... it's sad.. but what can one do to stubborn minds and when "each to his own" applies to every little thing?

"what would be considered worthwhile" -- for me, that's anything that has nothing geered towards reproduction. cheap thrills are more fun than making babies with the hottest guy in the planet. each to his own what cheap thrills mean. our country's secluded, I appreaciate the bands that come here. Yes, I am hinting. haha!

"but on the inside lie dead men's bones" there are times when we simply have no option. sad but true... let's not call it dead men's bones though, just sad/unsatisfied souls on specific matters.

I could go on... but I think I've gone off-topic and went on a one-sided... um. I lost the word. haha... :D

Nick said...

"you are not your khakis.."

Is this a quote from Fight Club? That movie is amazingly complex when talking about this type commitment to what you own and not who you are. It is sad to think that so many people in this world define themselves by their posessions and looks, rather than their ideas and dreams.

laura said...

"The authority of beauty is a very irrational thing"

Anonymous said...

wow. it is so true that our world is based on appearance. i have definately fallen into that trap many times in my life. just recently i have been starting to just forget about what i look like and go with it. i want to win people with my personality, not my appearance. i've never worn make up. i've been told so many times that i should- people ask me, "why don't you wear make up??? you would look so pretty!" i've got freidns who get up for school a good 2 hours earlier than me to get all their make up on! that much time and effort is just not worth it.

i also have poofy frizzy hair. i like my hair the way it is and just brush it and go every morning. i don't care if its messed up- but once again i have people tell me "your hair looks bad today" "your hairs all messed up. i don't like it." do people really think that someone would enjoy having that being told to them?

i also know people that in the morning judge how their day is going to be by how they are currently feeling about their appearance, and then at the end of the day judge how they day turned out by how much attention they got from the opposite sex. some of my friends get upset and angry it throughout the day they don't get to constantly talk to guys.

do we really want to live our lives constantly like this?

life sure is overwhelming

btw- i appoliogize ahead of time for all my spelling mistakes :)

Sarah said...

"why are you in that job? is this really what you wanted to be doing with your life, or is it just for the tittle, distinction, or the possessions what you earn will afford. are these your dreams? or are you pretending for the notoriety it might someday bring. "you are not your khaki's", is this the school or major you wanted, or is this the plastic surgeons work to make you look better to others than you really are."

I wonder about that same question often. Why do we as humans feel the need to hide our true selves? Is it a matter of vulnerability? are we too afraid to be honest? Really, what's holding us back?

now, I must ask you to consider what masks you wear? do you hide yourself from everyone, wearing different masks for different places and groups?

and I enjoyed the fight club reference immensely!!

Eric said...

I think just writing random thoughts are great at times because they get out what you truly feel and are thinking. Anyways, I think if we produced asexually humans would just find a new evil. Money, greed, envy, etc. all exist on a lower tier in comparison to what we are talking about. Of course reproduction is a beautiful thing but basing love off of it seems to displace love.

I always love how Hebrew has three words for love "ahava, raya, and dode". Raya is friendship, ahava is a committed love or loyalty, and dode is the physical part or sex. These are the three words used in Song of Psalms for love and I think you can't have true love with the opposite sex without. America has been fooled into thinking that if they get breast implants, facelifts, or even minor adjustments like new clothes, that they will find self worth and help garner the attention of the other sex. Some of it is our fault for buying and some is capitalist America selling, who are benefiting from our lack of self worth. I think the story you give epitomizes this sad state we've come to.

I myself am guilty of the clothing thing. Additionally, in pictures I try to find the best angle to take the picture in, which is likely an insecurity. Lately however, I have been trying to reject this lifestyle to an extent. I have quit buying the expensive clothes and I look at each picture with pleasure that I know how God created me and I love it. In fact if everyone could just look at each other for the piece of God that is in them (I believe everyone has some of God in them) and not the faults, love and this lustful quest that replaces it wouldn't get so muddled. Thanks for the read as always Stephen.

Andrea said...

"which is not the point. the point is i don't understand why we don't travel more, maybe it is fear of the unknown, or pickpockets, or whatever."


you are so right! I tried to tell some people at work about wanting to go with Faceless to India and they shot the while thing down right away. they were convinced I'd be killed upon arrival for being christian/female/american. I was shocked how cynial they were about all countries but ours...

is it the media's love of bad news that scares us so much? I wonder.