Why You May Be Just As Ghetto As The Next: Reflections On Self-Centeredness

   

One foot slowly and stylishly stepped in front of the other with a swag and swanker that rivaled that of Kanye West. The twenty-something African American youth, with over-sized pants, shirt, and ball-cap tilted ever so slightly to the right slowly walked (or swaggered in a way that might only be caused by a leg injury or from a hip replacement) despite the red hand ominously flashing its’ warning to stop.

And though several cars were racing down the street suddenly slamming on their brakes and honking at the boy to move, he kept his slow swaggered pace defiantly ignoring and even glancing at the drivers as if to blame them for conducting themselves foolishly.

My blood raised to a boil as I sat in my car watching this whole incident take place. “Who does this stupid kid think he is?! Does he think the world revolves around him?” Indeed, upon reflection, I was convinced that this kid thought all others must bend to his will. It was all about him and all others are less important. Rules? Laws? They mean nothing unless someone’s infringement of them affects me in a negative way—like the crook in jail pissed that someone stole their radio.

And as I watched this young man and his laughing friends act foolishly, a small voice arose within my mind. “Jon, you do that all the time. Why is he any different?”

Though I wanted to brush this thought aside, the truth is I was just like him.

How often have I thought everything around me should bend and rotate around me and my desires? How often had I only obeyed laws that I wanted to and make excuses for those that I broke? And what of God’s law? Do I not selectively obey that and look indignantly at others the practice the same or other sins?

The truth is, we are all like this young man. We break laws and walk arrogantly against the order and structure He has built for our lives. Instead of looking bitterly at others or acting judgmental of those with the same sins in different forms. Perhaps instead of the blow-horn into which we condemn others, we ought to pick up a mirror and look deeply into our own motives, sin, and selfish souls.

________________________________________________

THEOLOGY21 is a co-op of authors dedicated to renovating theology for a new generation, taking the ancient truths of scripture and theology and speaking to the post-Christian culture of the 21st century. To keep up-to-date on all things THEOLOGY21, Give our Facebook page a “like”, follow our twitter page, add yourself to our email list, or subscribe to our feed!
 
__________________________________________________

  • Ben

    Lolz. Ghetto people in the inland empire.

  • That was a challenge. An invite for you to just try and do something about it. It was less about being self-centered and more about feeling in control. You don’t walk slow in front of traffic because your self-centered or because you think the world should revolve around you. You walk slow in front of traffic to challenge people, to feel you have control, power. That was their way of telling you, hey, i bet you won’t do a damn thing about this, because your weak and I’m strong. People wanna feel tough. Though your point is still valid, i disagree with your example. I think what you presented is an example of people wanting to feel in control. And often, the people that do things like this probably feel powerless in regards to a lot of things in their life… but they will never admit that… they will, however, find any way they can to get that sense of control.

  • Unity Lover

    Jonathan, I want you to know that this is not a personal attack, just a realization. What I am about to say has absolutely no bearing on the truth and hard-hitting conviction of your post. 

    That being said, it’s sad for me as a black Christian in South Africa, I can still see trails of segregation in the church in America. Was it really that necessary to describe him as African American? Why couldn’t he just be a youth. When I, as a black Christian, read this, I am reminded that my skin colour still matters and that ‘whiteness’ is still the norm. If it was a white youth you wouldn’t have cared to point out his ethnicity. *sigh* Heaven is so far* 

  • Unity Lover

    Jonathan, I want you to know that this is not a personal attack, just a realization. What I am about to say has absolutely no bearing on the truth and hard-hitting conviction of your post. 

    That being said, it’s sad for me as a black Christian in South Africa, I can still see trails of segregation in the church in America. Was it really that necessary to describe him as African American? Why couldn’t he just be a youth. When I, as a black Christian, read this, I am reminded that my skin colour still matters and that ‘whiteness’ is still the norm. If it was a white youth you wouldn’t have cared to point out his ethnicity. 
    As for the title of the post, I don’t understand it soo…

    *sigh* Heaven is so far*

  • In fact, I probably would have. I would have pointed out his ghetto, want-to-be-thug whiteness. If he were a toothless redneck, I would describe him as WHITE trash. Ethnicity is nothing to shy away from. He is African American, I am a “white” European mutt, and the guy next to me is Asian. These are social truths. Now, if I hold one’s color against them, that is racism. But we are what we are and we are in the cultures which we were raised in. Nothing can change that. I look like a white, overweight, academic type with the appearance of having a sprinkle of “rock.” All those things are true. For me, I won’t avoid typing truths because it describes a certain race. To avoid such thing, and change normal behavior patterns, is tantamount to racism in my mind. 

    “Unity Lover”, I love unity. I love all my brothers and sisters. And the diversity within the Body of Christ is to be celebrated and illuminated, not left blank and without various and diverse descriptions. 

Close
Please support the site
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better
Social PopUP by SumoMe