It’s all about who you know……REALLY???

its all about who you know

by Kenneth Justice

~Have you ever felt unimportant? As though your life seems irrelevant? As though you’re somehow disconnected from the things that matter most?

As I was standing outside The White House over the weekend I couldn’t help but feel from disconnected to everything that was going on inside.

Think about it; inside The White House, the President, his various aids, generals, senators, and all sorts of other dignitaries are regularly making decisions that effect hundreds of millions of people……and the rest of us are on the outside looking in.

Sure…..we ‘elected’ some of these officials (we did not directly elect the Generals and various Presidential appointees) but somehow that little pencil mark we make at the ballot box doesn’t seem very big.

Life in the Western World has become all about who you know;

—) Got a degree? Good luck finding a job without knowing the right person

—) Want to get into The White House, good luck unless you know the right person

—) Want to get a literary agent or talk to a publisher about getting your first manuscript printed, good luck unless you’ve got connections

This is an issue that many young adults complain about; they feel cheated having spent a lot of energy, time, and money pursuing a college education only to find out that because they don’t know the right person, getting a good job seems almost impossible.

Sure, I’ve written in the past about the value of hard work in the face of difficulties…..sometimes you have to start out on the bottom to get to the top.

Yet, I can’t help but think that the people on the top have become far too disconnected from…. well….everyone else below them!

One of the things that really bugs me about most of the church’s I am familiar with is that this phenomenon of knowing-the-right person is almost always at play. Consider the following scenario;

—> A famous guest speaker is coming to the local Church on Sunday…guess who is going to pick him/her up at the airport and spend the afternoon with them prior to the speaking engagement,

–)  Is it the janitor of the church, nope

–) Is it one of the poorer families of the church, nope

–) Is it someone at the bottom of the church, nope

The person who picks up the (famous) guest speaker from the airport is inevitably the person at the top of the church; the Priest, the Pastor, the head Deacon, etc.

In fact, in the conservative Evangelical circles which I grew up in, the ‘famous Christian authors, speakers, pastors, and whatnot all huddle together like they are in a little fraternity. The Christians who could really benefit from one-on-one time with these famous dignitaries are given scraps thrown to them during the formal public speaking engagements.

Could you imagine Jesus spending the majority of his time hanging out with the people on the top? Ya’ know why he didn’t……cause he was Jesus! That is what was so revolutionary about him (whether you believe in a literal Jesus of Nazareth isn’t the point)…..the biblical narratives paint a portrait of a dude who spent the overwhelming majority of his time with;

—) The poor

—) The sick

—) The hurting

—) The fatherless

And when Jesus got around to hanging out with the important religious people of his day…..what did he do; HE CRITICIZED THEM! How’s that for ya! What a crazy dude that Jesus was; he spent most of his time demonstrating love towards the poor……and in his spare time he condemned the hypocrisy and nastiness of the religious leaders of his day.

Can you see why the biblical Jesus is someone that I really look up to? The life example he led blows away the ridiculous human nature that we’ve all grown accustomed to;

Jesus was ‘the man on the top’ but he lived his life down at the bottom

—) Imagine if Governors, Presidents, Prime Ministers and other world leaders spent a mere 2 hours a day with the people at the bottom (far less than the biblical Jesus)……such behavior would rock our world!

—) Imagine if President Obama sat at his desk for two hours every Monday-thru-Friday and gave fifteen minutes each to the first 8 people who lined up each morning……such behavior would rock our world!

—) Imagine if world leaders started spending more of their time living among the people at the bottom…rather than spending all of their time isolated from the rest of us……such behavior would rock our world!

Want me to tell you when we get to see world leaders hanging out with the people at the bottom; during election season. When there are camera’s around and a good photo-op occurs….that’s when you get to see the world leader allegedly ‘listening’ to the people at the bottom.

Do I sound like a loony revolutionary? I hope not….because I don’t feel like one. Perhaps I am simply too enamored with the story about this dude from 2000 years ago who spent his life hanging out with the poor, criticizing the rich and condemning hypocritical religious leaders…..

I really need another coffee,

Kenneth

 



Categories: Religion

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24 replies

  1. Your assessment of and perception of the situation is spot-on. Unfortunately, many do not act or think outside their backyards – not to mention their communities, state or nationally. I think for many it is easier to put their heads done and trudge on rather than acknowledge adversity and strive for any sort of change.

  2. I always think about this when churches when churches send people away for one reason or another….but Jesus was a friend of the sinner….he would not have turned anyone away! Great post:)

  3. Well said. I agree! The people at the top seperate themselves from the people at the bottom so they can convince themselves the people down below are insignificant, so eventually the strangers do not seem real to them and thus making decisions that negatively affect them is much easier to do. It is hard to vote to decrease spending on programs that affect people you know, “real” people who have families and daily struggles. You wouldn’t take a bullet for just anyone, and the elite have no intention of taking a proverbially bullet for what amounts to numbers on a page for them. It’s all about who you know because it is hard for humans to care about things they don’t know, even if those things are other human beings.

  4. Beautifully written and right on!

  5. Your own skills or willingness seem to be less important than who you know and how far your hand can go up a ass, pardon my French. How is it that they ask your email so they can see who is in your community. One wrong person and you are screwed. (i know) They rather have a person they can control. Ad that brings u back to power question.

  6. -Have you ever felt important? As though (oddly enough) there are people that look up to you for guidance?
    You may have ask ed the question of yourself WWJD?
    I have learned in this role that I gather the most information about reaching the ear of the higher ups. It may take you more creativity and persistence if you are not a Rockefeller but you will feel less unheard.
    When I listen to students, children, people I am trying to help and those I may look on as unimportant, I hear that they want to take ownership of their needs. A person that is empowered has great motivation to cooperate.

  7. It’s true we loose touch with out elected officials not long after they take office. Like everyone else they tend to stick with their small circle of friends. It’s an unfortunate fact of human nature. I wish I knew what the solution is, but I don’t.

  8. I’m not a Christian, but most of these guys we call spiritual leaders all seem to have the same philosophy . . . but a few and especially Jesus becomes a source of worship rather than the source of knowledge the real guy intended to be . . .

    Man loves religion . . . the teachers of yesterday would hardly recognize themselves today. . . . . .

  9. well said! another top notch post from you and the observations are spot on! as time has marched on, i’ve come to see our differences in thought on occasion but this isn’t one of them haha. i couldn’t agree more with the points you’ve made and how much we’ve altered HOW we read the Bible and it’s message; how warped it’s become due to human error and agendas.

  10. Hmm….a looney revolutionary? No. Speaking from the top of a soap box? Maybe just a bit. But I really liked this post. I don’t have anything to add, you said it, and said it well!!! 😉 An now, I think a cup of tea is in order, lol

  11. Well, you’ve seen I’ve said tons in other posts, so you know where I am coming from. I feel blessed, though: the bishop (read: pastor) of my ward (read: congregation) honestly listened to some concerns I had recently concerning some home ministry of a family in my charge. Granted, it helps that he is my age, and it also helps that that the ministry of my church, clergy and all, is a lay one. It is all volunteer, and no one is paid, save for the general leadership, and even that amount is very small. Our General Authorities usually rely on job retirement and such. It is my experience that they listen, too; although they have some help in answering our questions as I think anybody at that level would. My wife wrote to our president and got a fairly personable reply. She could not get that much from our local congressman: she got a stiff form letter and she said flatly, “Well, I guess he doesn’t want my vote.”

    • “and it also helps that that the ministry of my church, clergy and all, is a lay one. It is all volunteer, and no one is paid, save for the general leadership, and even that amount is very small”

      that sounds like a good model which might prevent a lot of ills

  12. Thanks for liking my post. I think you’ll like a lot of what I write about, honestly. I completely agree that the church as we know it today has lost connection with Christ. It’s a manmade system that functions just fine, even better, without following the Spirit of God. A tradition-filled morality club with Jesus’ name attached to it, essentially. I strive to write about what God is doing today and what Jesus was all about vs. what Christianity is all about. Anyway, thanks and hope you continue to check in. I followed your blog, really well done.

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