You know him, but you can't remember his name. He is the one that is always there, in the background, all but invisible to those roaming the hallways. What if he had a secret? What if it was a secret that even he didn't know?

Test Davis has always been a blur to those around him. He's a shadow like a million other kids--not smart enough for the academic team, not beast enough for the football team, not extroverted enough for the drama crowd. In all things Test is just...not, which is why no one ever notices him.

But what happens when someone does notice him--Nicole Paxton, a cheerleader, no less? What happens on the night that Test finds out there's nothing average about him and that a powerful gift has been hidden within, sectretly waiting to be set free and alter his life forever? The question is, will that power save him and those he loves or tear them apart?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Self-righteousness and the Decline of the Western Civilization

It begins innocently. It could be from a bully from your youth. Maybe it’s your boss that triggered it; maybe your parents? Maybe it’s even your Pastor? Perhaps it’s your own twisted perception of yourself? Any one of these events could have been the one thing that caused you to realize your virtues; your morals. For the rest of your life, you have vowed not to make mistakes, both morally and ethically. Most of us mean well, but regardless, it seems to be a plague.

How many times have you visited family, been on a forum, or overheard a conversation centered on how stupid a decision that someone had made? How many times have you passed judgment on someone else’s point of view? How many times have you witnessed an instance where someone makes a mistake and the righteous jump to their feet to correct the offender? It seems innocent enough, right? It would be if…

Typically, it’s not once, no; it’s not sufficient for one person to stand up and point out the offense. Soon, they come in droves; the self-righteous pack of wolves making sure that everyone sees how good and pure they are, when if the truth were known, they’ve more than likely fallen from their own measure of grace in the not so distant past.

It is a plague.

It is everywhere. It’s in this article. It could be construed that within these very words, speaking poorly of the self-righteous implies ones own self-righteousness. I confess that even to me, that actually makes sense. My fear is that with everyone clamoring to show their goodness, they invariably prove the opposite. To the innocent offender, would a mob of do-gooders not seem overbearing? Where is the compassion for error? Are there those that are so perfect that they can’t let someone learn a lesson without destroying their pride? Ah…that’s just it. There is not a one of us alive that can claim to be perfect. All of us have had bouts of poor judgment, just the same as all of us have moments of clarity. What if your moment of clarity eventually proved to be a lapse in judgment? I’m sure that there are millions who thought that electing a given government official was the most obviously correct decision ever presented. How did they feel a year later? Would you stand up and say “yep, that was me! I did that!”? Would you then be prepared for the latest pack of self-righteous wolves to spring forward and say “I told you so!”?

When I was a teen, one of my favorite movies was The Decline of the Western Civilization Part 2: the Metal Years. The title implied that there was a perception by the general public that the latest wave of Metal bands were, in essence, going to destroy our youth and, in turn, our society. Twenty years have passed, and while I’m sure that many of you have never even heard of that movie, I can assure you that the title didn’t turn out to be prophetic. I’m hoping that I can say the same about the current wave of self-righteousness in our society. It’s true that self-righteousness isn’t anything new to the human race. It’s been around for thousands of years. So has the flu. Is it only a matter of time before either one of them mutate into something more?

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