Saturday, September 13, 2008
Perspectives on Minorities
Not unique to my generation, but definitely a huge factor is an obsession with being in the minority. It comes from an innate need to be special. If our ideas or opinion match another, we fear we'll go unnoticed. Yet if they have to match (because of course there are really no new ideas), we match the person who has a reputation for being in the minority. Or we aim for the least popular vote. Or we seek a comment that will achieve the highest shock factor.
And if we have caused our friends to gasp, we feel have achieved some higher insight or understanding. This somehow grants us the right to look pityingly at our friends, smile, and shake our heads.
In my diagnosis of what has happened to second generation Christians, I blame the Christian schools, the youth groups, the Bible colleges, and any other isolated organization in which Christians interact solely with other Christians. Because if we are to satisfy this need to rebel against the norm, well...the result is obvious.
I'm not ready to burn down my school for the higher good. Don't get me wrong. Nor am I advocating that we send our children to public institutions. I think that would raise a whole new spectrum of problems. But I believe strongly in exposure to and interaction with the "real world" (and I use the quotation marks deliberately because the definition is so subjective). On a side note, it's interesting how both the Christian world and the unsaved world have a concept of a real world which is distinctly different than their present world.
Being in a secular environment now, I'm finally experiencing my role as a minority from a different perspective. I'm viewed as abnormal, an extremist, and naive. I've been called a liar (because no one can really be content), and I've been scrutinized suspiciously. Yet I also enjoy the exotic side of being the minority. My political views, my faith, my convictions and standards, my perspective as a whole is basically a novelty.
For the first time, I guess I can say, it’s fun to be conservative.