Let’s admit it, we live in a time with very specific problems. Tough times. Not that times haven’t been tough before, for other generations, but ours are pretty hard too.
We get up in the mornings, and usually, are thoughts are overcrowded with plans for the day. We shower, dress and eat, but it’s a necessity. It’s not enjoyable, as we might be tense, nervous, or simply don’t feel like doing what the day at work throws at us.
At work or school, we are faced with the fact that there is always someone who tells us what to do. Always someone who’s smarter, better, prettier, anything really. Work and school are exhausting. We try to get it done, but it’s fighting windmills. At the end of the day, your toughest, most feared opponent is not the guy who makes better investments, or the woman who seems to manage everything with a smile. You are your biggest opponent. The faster, better, stronger we are, the higher the expectations.
And in between trying to outdo yourself and all the others, pile after pile of stones are dropped on your head. Stones that read “Make more money”, “know more”, “have more skills” and so on. We are rushing through the day, trying to pick up pieces here and there in order to give us somewhat of an advantage from… who again?
Once we get home, the race continues. Change your clothes, quick quick, now it’s time to have that private time you dreamed of while at work. We text, we type, we chat, we call. We don’t ask “How are you?”, we ask “Where are you?” – the emptiest question one can ask. Yeah, where the heck was I again?
Most of our social life seems to take place online, where things are so easily said, promised and broken. “I love you” types so easily. “I hate you” does, too. In an environment where one does not have to face the immediate, emotional response of somebody else, emotions become meaningless. Emotions are swept away just like the text message you didn’t want to read – there’s always a delete button.
Fundamentalism offers a new approach to life. It takes a person off the racetrack onto that good old “narrow path”. You can’t run there. You don’t have to.
It gives meaning back to the small things in life – watching the beautiful nature, doing little things like petting a cat. It gives meaning to actions we don’t consider meaningful – getting pretty for your husband, vacuuming the floor. It’s all part of the kingdom and God smiles down on you while you do it.
It takes away the stress of a society ruled by information. While those “worldly” informations change, sometimes within minutes, you suddenly hold eternal information, eternal truth, given by somebody so much bigger than your boss. You can read it over and over, and it stays the same, and it stays true.
That bigger person made you, handcrafted you. You’re perfect to him. You don’t have to envy the pretty woman at school anymore, or the smart guy at your office. You are perfect and there’s no way to make you more perfect than you already are. If you fail at something, it’s alright. It’s just not part of your God-given talents.
Relationships are given a new meaning. Online friendships are considered fully meaningless, actually, the entire internet is a place for bad people. You find real friends, who really look at you, and really talk to you. But this time, there’s no delete-button. Don’t let them get too close. And your husband? Instead of jumping from one love to another, he waited for you. Makes you feel so special. Makes you feel “like the only girl in the world”. He can’t compare you to anyone, and yet again, another fight you managed to avoid.
It all looks so good – from the outside.
I’m not trying to paint black and white colors here. You know very well I’m against fundamentalism. But after a lot of thinking, I understood why fundamentalism attracks so many people, why so many people give up their lives to change their lifestyle. It’s interesting really. From this point of view, fundamentalism seems like a reaction to the troubles each age of time brings along. That convinces me that fundamentalism will never die, no matter how hard anybody tries to show people the dark sides. What do you think…