In life, we are called upon to build or construct a life. A life is formed from many tangibles and intangibles. We know our most basic needs are shelter, food, and clothing.
Once these needs are met we tend to focus on the tangibles that we consider needs such as a large house (mansion is probably a better word), a vehicle of some sort that serves more than a mere conveyance but a testament to our station in life (a Geo Storm will get you from A to B but not in near the style as a Cadillac Escalade for example), clothing that reflects our personality and level of success (jeans with rips and tears were once a sign of abject poverty but now are desired by the discerning provocateur of high fashion). The list really does go on and on. For instance, is a smartphone (iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, etc., etc.) a necessity, really?
Our homes must also contain a vast array of objects including a kitchen right out of the Jetsons (if this reference is too obscure for you, Google it), a living room with an entertainment center including surround sound, 4K television monitor and furniture fit for a king or queen (not to discriminate), only the best name brands will do, the obligatory pet or two (so you can be seen walking your dog with the rest of humanity during the most relentless weather conditions and all hours of the day and night, I know, I don’t understand this one either) and at a two car garage with the tools to fix most anything but seemed to rarely see any use since we always have a plumber, electrician, carpenter, bricklayer, masonite expert, etc. on speed dial.
Our perception of needs is warped because of media, peer pressure and the desire to be considered a cut above everyone else. For those of us who came on the scene prior to 1990 or so, we know a time when phones were in our homes and when you wanted to call away from home you used a pay phone (again, if it doesn’t sound familiar, Google it). The same drive for expensive cars, homes, etc. was still in vogue but with much less sophisticated electronic gadgetry. Futuristic gadgetry went from a luxury (remember cell phones in the 1980s? Ghastly!) to a need. I mean who hasn’t seen a seemingly homeless person with an iPhone.
Once our tangibles are in place then we must address the intangibles. No matter where you live or how you live, your occupation must be addressed. Yes, it is still desirable to be a doctor of some specialty or lawyer but there are so many new areas to enter with the same earning potential. It seems unless your job is in a technical field, it is just not as desirable which is nonsense since we still need teachers, doctors, lawyers (maybe not as many), plumbers, electricians, etc. Computer Programmers, for instance, were once revered and respected. Who doesn’t have a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, etc. that has written their own app for a phone? And since when did posting on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. become a career? Now it is even possible to post your way to become a social media influencer and make a more than respectable living. A job mind you that didn’t really exist 10 years ago.
Along with all this activity on our phones, tablet computers (iPad like devices), we still have to address our humanity. We all must form our own ideas about where we came from, where we are going and what to leave behind once we have left this earthly existence. Philosophy (of which Theology is a part) is as important today as it was when Socrates was expounding his version of the truth. So, we have to construct our own view of the world and how we fit into it. Along with this we have to consider how healthy our views are in relation to everyone else especially those we deal with on a daily basis. Our families are and always have been a challenge to navigate. Some of us would have come from seemingly healthy backgrounds while others are fortunate to have survived at all.
So, our lives that we construct are not done so in a vacuum but are formed from the interaction with other lives which can be harmonious or violently thrown askew. How we interact with others whether they be at school, at work, or just walking through town has a part in defining who we are. Our experiences mold who we are and our memories continue to shape us throughout our lives.
The end result is your life, constructed by you, circumstances and situations you have managed to overcome to define you. We must take credit and blame of our lives as we are in control and responsible to the final outcome. May we all live well and leave this world a little better than the way we found it.