Monday, September 30, 2019

The real value of our lives.

I am not bashful about revealing that I have varied interests and healthy curiosities.  I add the adjective ‘healthy’ because I am very aware that there are many curiosities in life that are not only unhealthy but can also be toxic and dangerous.  My curious nature lends itself to creativity in thinking and gives me a broad spectrum in looking at the world through a wide-angled lens.  Sometimes the things I read about may lead to dead-ends, and sometimes, they give me a new perspective of things that I hitherto had looked at with myopic eyes.

One of these curiosities led me to find out something about the world of luxury goods and introduced me to the term ‘pre-loved’.  Apparently, there is a whole market out there that caters to people who are very interested in purchasing and owning high end but second-hand luxury goods like clothes, shoes, handbags and watches (I also learnt that there is a distinct difference between a watch and a time piece).  It seems that the term 'pre-loved' was first used around the late-70’s and has since gained traction, and was first applied to homes that were previously occupied and were looking for new owners.

I may be wrong, but somehow the term is now predominantly used in a more specific way and is applied uniquely to items that are smaller than homes, but are at the same time items that fetch a high resale value.  To this end there are pre-loved high-end watches, fashion accessories, jewelry, and shoes.  Of course, the more unblemished, pristine and well taken care of the item is, the higher the value it will have.  

‘Where is today’s blog going?’ I can almost hear my reader asking.  

There were two biopics that came to the cinemas recently that piqued the interest of the public, and interestingly, they were about the lives of two rather similar personalities in the entertainment industry.  One was Rocketman, which featured the life of singer-entertainer-song writer Elton John, and the other was Bohemian Rhapsody, which was a dramatization of the life of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the rock band Queen.  One cannot help but see a wealth of similarities in both biopics (albeit with some degree of artistic story/entertainment license taken, I am sure). But one thing that stood out for me was just how hungry, needy and desperate both of these mega-stars with larger-than-life stage personalities were for one thing - love.

To be sure, this human phenomenon isn’t only something that is found in rock singers and stage artists.  It is something that plagues the human heart, and has also been the energy that has driven people to do great as well as utterly horrible things in history.  Oceans of ink have been spilled onto pages and tomes, detailing the lengths to which the human heart will go and the things that man and woman will do to attain semblances of love.  

It doesn’t take a genius to know that this is the real issue that is at heart of so many of our wounds and brokenness in life.  We seek to love, we seek to be loved, and we invest so much of our lives to attain the holy grail of love, and many have sought in all but the right place. I'll admit that I have very little appreciation for country music.  My idea of purgatory is a place where country music blares 24/7.  But I will admit that there is wisdom in Johnny Lee’s 1980 hit when he sang about “Looking for love in all the wrong places”.  

At the heart of the Christian faith is the revelation by Jesus himself that all of us need not be looking helter-skelter for love, because each one of us, even before we were born, is really pre-loved.  The Gospel tells us that we should not have the need to look for love in all the wrong places.  Even before we were first loved by our human parents who brought us into the world, we were and always will be loved by God our Father who deigned to love us into being.  The well-formed Christian person is one who is secure in this knowledge, and lives this out in faith throughout his life.  St Josemaria Escriva calls this our 'divine filiation'.

When we are not secure in this revelation of how crazy in love God is with us, we will inevitably search for some kind of thrill, delight and satisfaction in things and activities and the saddest of all is when we end up using people instead of things. It explains why there are addicts of so many different kinds, from substances to pornography to shopping. Those two biopics I mentioned are mere examples of this human brokenness writ large.  I was pleased to read that Elton John has revealed that he has been sober for the last 30 years from his numerous addictions.

If you have in your possession any “pre-loved” item, especially if it is of a high value, I invite you to take it in your hand, and look at it with an eye that is at the same time cast on your own life.  If this is something that you paid a pretty penny for, know that your very soul is way more valuable and has been paid for as well. The price was the blood of God himself, shed on Calvary for the love of you and for me.  

And may this give you a new hope in facing your addictions in life.  You have always been pre-loved.

1 comment:

  1. A wordsmith you are but there is nothing new under the sun. Second hand my time was poor people who can't afford the new, then was the term used before now preloved but sama sama. Still love your blog. God loves you.