Our youth need more messages like the ones this man is painting!
Perfectionism, the inevitable feelings of failure and, at the very least, a subtle undercurrent self-loathing are rampant in a culture where we are taught to value ourselves based on our looks, fitness, achievements, wealth, material possessions, sexual prowess, power over others, and social status.
Applying these aspiritual measuring sticks leaves us running endlessly on a treadmill and feeling a massive emptiness inside that can only be temporarily filled by doing or buying more. A dream scenario in a “consumer society.”
For those of us with mental illnesses or addiction though, the hyper-competitiveness and infinite acquisitiveness can damage us severely. Savage shame attacks born of self-hatred for not “being enough” can besiege us. Mania and grandiosity can take us to breath-taking heights followed by disasterous crashes. Eating disorders can be triggered by seeking that “perfect body.” Addiction, a disease of more, takes off like a wild fire in such an environment.
And finally, a society with such skewed values fails to properly assist “the least of these,” which would certainly include us.