Stop Kowtowing to the Caveman

Today I was driving by myself (an occurrence rare enough to warrant a woohoo!) when “Don’t Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me” came on the radio.

It always takes me by surprise that people write songs that celebrate the baser nature of being human. I know why they do – because it sells. Graphic violence, sex, and materialism sell. And that surprises me, too. Perhaps it shouldn’t. Perhaps I’m too much of an idealist. Or a Puritan. But there are just so many other things people could spend their time and energy and talents creating. Something that might add true beauty, wisdom, or inspiration to the world. Right?

So I spent my alone drive thinking about human evolution and asking the dashboard, “Is this really what we’ve evolved into? Have we spent thousands of years supposedly becoming better, smarter, and stronger with each generation so that we can act like animals in heat? Are we gifted with creativity so that we can make music, movies, and TV shows that objectify women, cheapen sex, glorify violence, feed materialism, and otherwise debase ourselves? Haven’t we come farther than that?”

Sometimes I think we have. And in some ways I’m sure we have. But then I see a commercial for “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” and I realize we have a long way to go.

So, after this lone conversation with the car dashboard, I went to a Baha’i devotional gathering this evening. It started with some lovely piano music, and then the first reading:

“All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. The Almighty beareth me witness: To act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man. Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth.” 

Well, that was a well-timed quote for today. We have been created to evolve, to advance civilization with each generation. And acting like animals in heat is unworthy of our noble and dignified station as human beings. I love this quote because it elevates the conversation above moralism. We have a dignified station and a noble purpose. To behave in ways that are unworthy of that station and don’t serve that purpose is just plain silly. We won’t get anywhere that way.

There were more quotes from this evening that spoke to the same subject. Funny how things come together like that.

So that I don’t come off too self-righteous here, let me point out that I’m really not a Puritan. Havarti just came in and told me that the NBC anchor for Chicago’s name is “Dick Johnson,” and I laughed. But I really truly believe in my heart of hearts that we can do better as a society than we’re doing. We were created for greatness, for advancing our civilization. I believe we can choose to start behaving like the noble beings we are and stop kowtowing to our caveman tendencies.

Time for bed. End of rant. Good golly, I’m ranty this week. No soapbox tomorrow, I promise.

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

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