As Charlie Sheen nears his millionth follower on his newly opened Twitter account, this is worth a read:
While covering the Sermon on the Mount, I had students read the Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew and then create a list of “Modern Beatitudes.” I told students to imagine the perspective of, for example, the head of MTV or the publisher of a popular magazine. From that perspective, I asked, what makes someone happy or blessed?
Here are examples of what students wrote:
Blessed are they who have problems, for they will be given attention.
Blessed are those who get pregnant at 16, for they will get a TV show.
Blessed are they who have money, for they will have anything they want.
Blessed are those who are angry, for violence is the only way to power.
Blessed are those who don’t eat, for they shall be “beautiful.”
Blessed are those who play music, for they bring joy to the world.
Blessed are those who are intelligent, for they gain respect from their peers.
Blessed are those who overcame drinking and drugs, for they will be on Oprah and Dr. Phil.
Blessed are those who get plastic surgery, for they shall remain ever young.
Blessed are those who have many Facebook friends, for they shall never be lonely while browsing the internet.
Blessed are the stoners, for they will not have to deal with reality.
Teen pregnancy, plastic surgery, drug use, “problems,” technology, social networking sites, violence—this is the stuff that a group of 15- and 16-year-olds believes its culture prizes. This is the stuff our students walk into, and out of, and back into, every day.