Friday, July 17, 2015

Toxic Hubris

                                                             

Do you remember your 5th grade Greek Mythology lessons?  The Greeks always had a mythical moral tale to explain what offends the gods.  I was always intrigued by the story of Icarus and his wax wings, defying his father and flying too close to the sun, and falling into death and ruin.  So yesterday, when it was revealed that Pete Rose bet on baseball as both player AND manager, I couldn't help but think of the long line of people who have fallen into ruin through their own hubris.  Franklin Roosevelt was never as successful in passing legislation after he tried to pack the Supreme Court.  George Patton should have been revered as our greatest 20th century general, but he believed he was immune from bad behavior.  Richard Nixon crushed George McGovern in the '72 Presidential election but he wanted more...to destroy...and he needed Watergate to make that happen.  Slick Willie Clinton believed his great good fortune that capital gains profits from the internet boom allowed him to balance the budget, also believed that he could get blow jobs in the Oval Office without consequences nearly did him in.  He was saved only by the fact that American morals had declined so precipitously that too few Americans cared about the sanctity of the White House anymore.  And now we have an ineffective and bumbling community organizer as President who is the poster child for hubris.  Funk and Wagnalls dictionary will no doubt post his pic next to the word on their next publication date.

And, it seems no matter how many times notables and celebrities are brought down, no one seems to have learned a lesson from it.  In sports we had arrogant and vicious Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemmons and Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa, all great players, resort to cheating in order to rise even higher.  We see it in rap artists....multimillionaires....whose millions never seem to make them content.  Instead they resort to wallowing in violence and the demeaning of the soul.  

What we, as mere mortals, need to take from this is that money and fame do not guarantee happiness.  Nor does living a life totally free of moral values does not bring happiness.  The only sure thing to guarantee a life of contentment is to find your "moral center" and abide by it.  One does not even have to adhere to a religious code.  Thank goodness our God instilled in us the ability to know what is right and wrong...all we need do is listen to our own hearts and try our best to do what we know is right...and avoid as much as possible doing what we clearly know is wrong.  

We see an Icarus nearly every day....from an internet story, or from reading the headlines of our local newspaper.  Why is it so damn hard for us to learn from all these celebrity failures...these wild rides on wax wings?  If we ever hope to be happy we've got to dampen down all the "white noise"...from celebrities, from politicians...and pay a little more attention to what our hearts are telling us.  

11 comments:

TheRandyGuy said...

Excellent piece (as usual). You asked "Why is it so damn hard for us to learn from all these celebrity failures...these wild rides on wax wings?" The Bible makes it absolutely clear that the nature of man is evil - we inherently reject God's plan for our lives in favor of our own selfish desires. As a result, we get the tabloid garbage about some uber-rich, uneducated "star" cheating (again), using drugs or booze (again), etc. (again), followed by their personal revelation about the true path to happiness/contentment/etc. Rarely, if ever, does that enlightenment include God's word as its' base. There is only one way to happiness - God has given it to us. It's our choice whether to take it, or not, but those decisions have consequences.

A Modest Scribler said...

But we used to seem to condemn the wild-ass celebrity stuff, Randy. Now we seem to delight in it. We are as bad a society as I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

My favorite line, "American morals had declined so precipitously that too few Americans cared about the sanctity of...." This can be applied to everything about our society these days. It's why all media is now able to be the despicable American-dividing scumbags they've become. They never would have been able to get away with it even 10-15 years ago. TV networks, the music industry, movies, video games, clothing companies etc. have capitalized tremendously on this decline of morality. We're being invaded daily by the corrupt both externally and by our own "American idols" that have been polluting the mentality of our youth at such a rate that it's been tripping over itself. One can only imagine what America will look like in a few more years.

Ken said...

Heartbreaking every day. We are not only at an end with this once wonderful country but the world seems to be falling into ruin. I am not familiar with the bible but isn't Iran where the evil is supposed to rise and bring the end. I would have to thank obama and this once God fearing country for implementing that. There is no God left in america she is dead. Planned parenthood now is selling the body parts harvested from abortions. Tell me God is here....

A Modest Scribler said...

Anon, won't take long for our demise....unless a Civil War breaks out to correct our course.

A Modest Scribler said...

Ken, I always wonder if at least some of the Romans saw their own decline as it happened. Sad. Damned Sad.

Brian Clancy said...

Watching the news this morning and Bruce Jenner (that IS his name) was the biggest news. This country's fucked. Pervasive decadence and emulation of the most morally bankrupt that pop culture can offer. It's hard to think we don't deserve this

A Modest Scribler said...

Yeah, Brian. I noticed Brucie got more headlines than the four marines killed. Pretty sad.

Jerry Gray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry Gray said...

Our freedoms are disappearing fast folks. Who could ever have imagined the IRS salivating over soon being able to collect taxes from churches who do not perform same sex marriages, therefore impeding a US Supreme Court law.

A Modest Scribler said...

Getting worse every day, Jerry.