I have always said of myself that I do my part. I recycle. I don't turn my heat up too high or the AC down too low (a smaller carbon footprint, you know). I support a child through Compassion International. I tithe. I give out my spare change. I sign petitions. I vote. I support causes I believe in. And I just think that all in all I'm a good person.
But then I keep coming back to this idea, this realization, that I am completely and totally addicted to myself. I'm addicted to my book buying habit. I'm addicted to my television and my movie collection. I'm addicted to my cozy little apartment. I'm addicted to the convenience of my SUV and the fact that it can haul just about anything I want it to. I'm addicted to my Starbucks. I'm addicted to the convenience of life, and I simply just don't want my life to be inconvenient. And for all my causes and all my good works, I remain addicted to myself.
But the thing is that life is just a little bit inconvenient. I was reminded of that as I watched Hotel Rwanda tonight. Life is a little, actually very, inconvenient. It was inconvenient for the West that "acts of genocide" were committed in Rwanda, just as now it is inconvenient that similar acts are occurring in Sudan. It is inconvenient that millions are dying of starvation and AIDS. It is inconvenient that our own western cities have homeless, drug addicts, and impoverished people. It is inconvenient that are school systems are failing. It is inconvenient that I can't vote online but rather have to drive the few blocks to my neighborhood polling area. It is inconvenient that my produce is being genetically altered and pumped full of pesticides without me being fully aware of the dangers. It is inconvenient that our world is slowly diminishing thanks to the industrial era. It is simply inconvenient.
And because of my self addiction, I choose to live with those inconveniences. Sometimes it is more inconvenient for me to care about those inconveniences than it is for me to pray my little prayer, send my little well wishes, and pretend that my life is so very convenient.
But then there's the other thing. Despite my self addiction, despite the inconveniences, I also have to admit that we simply weren't created for this world. We were created for Eden. We were created for harmony and peace. We were created for perfect relationship with God. We were created for a world without inconvenience and addiction.
So maybe that gives me hope. Hope that there actually is something more than my addiction. Hope that there is actually something more to this world than inconvenience.
So am I a cynic, addicted to myself, addicted to convenience? Yes. But am I hopeful? Well, I want to be. After all, I recycle.