I took a Shakespeare course in college and found his understanding of human nature to be astounding. I memorized many of his more famous and slightly more obscure sayings because they seem to fit life so well. I thought of that one (title) last night when I heard something on TV that just shocked me. I often feel like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” when she told Richard Gere, “Really, people shock the [heck] out of me all the time.” (Caveat: that may not be the direct quote; it’s been a while since I watched the movie.)
I am constantly amazed at the spouting of worldly wisdom so inconsistent with gospel wisdom. I KNEW I lived in the last of the last days, but I just don’t always realize how bad it is out there. As a young person, I was bombarded with sexual content; as an adult, I have seen it grow worse. But the shock factor is the breezy way people dismiss values that at one time were given at least a passing nod.
Example, just one, btw (little Internet lingo there). Last night on Glenn Beck (yes, we’re a political junkie family), some young man from some magazine was rattling on and in the midst of it, he commented (again not an exact quote), you know, like having sex with a virgin, man, who wants that! It’s awkward. No one wants that. I think Beck was as ataken back as I was. I looked at my dad, he looked at me and then we both looked back at the TV as if to say, surely, we didn’t hear that right.
That lead me to the book I’m currently reading: “The Last Kingdom” by Bernard Cornwall, known for his Sharpe series. He’s brutal in his description of war. This is set in post-Roman, pre-Norman England. Suddenly, I put it down, thinking, I’m surrounded by worldly wisdom: virginity is bad, violence is natural, man is brutal, this is normal with the implication normal is good.
So as a writer, do I contribute to this notion? Am I supposed to fight it? We’ve covered this ground before, and it’s an intensely private issue for each writer: but just how far is too far?
Last night, I felt the world was much too much with me. So tonight, I think I’ll skip TV and read along in “Jesus the Christ” and try to remember I’m the offspring of deity and have much higher standards than the world would have me follow.