One of my favorite experiences while I was employed by the Hearst Corporation, was a tour of the Good Housekeeping Institute. It is still one of my favorite places in New York City. When an ad ran in Good Housekeeping magazine, every claim in the ad was tested by the Institute. I mean, if the ad claimed a garment could be washed fifty times without fading, those people would get the garment and wash it fifty times to see if it faded! I had one client whose ad they sent back for a re-write. They had evidently melted down a piece of jewelry and it contained a fraction of an ounce more or less of some component and the institute demanded a re-write! To this day, I respect the Good Housekeeping Seal more than virtually any other consumer campaign.
My trust in the Good Housekeeping Seal is there because I know they demand complete honesty in advertising. Not only that, they double check the claims to make sure people are being honest. I wish life had a Good Housekeeping Institute. When someone told us something, we could plug in the claim and it would be checked out. The “Truth Institute” would issue a report telling us how much, if any, of the truth we were being told.
Lately, I have been troubled by several conversations I have had with young adults. The conversations are troubling not just because the person is doing something against God’s specific instructions, but because of the attitude that obeying the Bible is somehow optional for Christians. The exact wording is usually something like, “Well I know there are those one or two scriptures in there that say such and such, but….”.
I have also been stopped from helping improve some programs I volunteer for, as I am told everyone else has told the program leaders things are fine. Ironically, “everyone else” has been telling me in private how miserable they are about how things are going in the various programs. When I ask why they haven’t said anything, the response is usually “I didn’t want to make any waves, so I just said things were fine”.
Peter has always been my favorite Apostle. I love him because when he was “in”, he was “all in”. You never doubted where Peter came down on an issue. He was passionate about whatever he was saying or doing. If you recall, being passionate also got him in a little bit of turbulent water. Peter didn’t hesitate to jump out of the boat and start walking towards Jesus. He didn’t think things through too well though and forgot to keep his eyes on Jesus. Thankfully, Jesus was there to bail him out.
I think there was something important about Peter’s passion. Jesus knew that very difficult times were ahead for the Apostles and all Christians. It would take a passionate person to keep everyone on track through the persecutions and grow the church at the same time.
I just had one of those milestone birthdays this week. One of the yucky ones where the light from the candles forces people to reach for sunglasses. In our culture, I have lost all value. My modeling career will never happen now (because we all know it was only a matter of time and not looks!) and if I accomplish anything during the rest of my life, I will most likely be compared to Grandma Moses. Of course, I now get that wonderful mid-life crisis, when I can live only to please myself in an effort to re-capture the glories of my youth. It is my time to be Peter Pan.
Peter Pan used to be looked down upon as irresponsible. Now, he has become the poster child for everyone who wants to stay youthful. Which, in our country, is just about everyone. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for moisturizing and not being too proud to swing on a swing set in the park. My issue is with parents who want to be a co-conspirator with their child instead of a parent. Or the parents who believe being an adult means becoming a drill Sargent. Or parents who ignore many of their child’s needs so they can live the life they had before having kids.
I am old. Really old. When I was a teenager and wanted to learn about something, I had three options. Trust my parents to have the answer, use our set of encyclopedias or drive five miles to the library and hope they had a book or magazine with the answer. Now, in a few seconds, I can have millions of answers to a question on my computer screen right in my house.
In those olden days, you either had to trust the few sources you had available or you just sort of forgot the question. Today’s child has millions of possible answers to their questions in a few seconds after they ask it. The problem is that some of them are accurate, some are partially accurate, some are wrong and some are just too weird to even consider. With so many answers to choose from, how do we know whose answer we can trust?