You are what you love. This is why we can have a culture where people have many things they “love”, but their souls are being destroyed. We can be both “happy” and depressed. Searching for life, but filled with death.
I was reminded of this fact reading an article about video game addiction that mentioned a 2016 book by James K. Smith, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit. It is about shaping a Christian life, and realizing, you are what you love, and often, we might not love what we think. Or I would say, what you desire and falsely love. And even if it is something that would destroy you, this desire shapes our hearts and who we are.
In the article I came across by Carmel Richardson for The American Spectator, for many of our young and not so young, it is video games. Especially young boys and men.
From the article:
“Gaming addictions are real and damaging, even beyond the well-documented: shorter attention spans, academic struggles, and a handful of basement-dwelling Call of Duty players who went off the rails. If those weren’t enough, gamers are also highly prone to depression, and increasingly, studies show strong correlations between gaming and suicide rates.”
“The demographic most hurt is young men. Statistically, gamers are teen boys, in the phase of life when they seek excitement most and are tempered by maturity least. Video games, which promise endless excitement, can be incredibly addictive to boys of this age. One 2020 poll, done by Michigan Medicine, shows teen boys are far more likely than girls to spend three or more hours gaming in a given day, and boys are twice as susceptible to gaming addictions in general than are girls. To say boys are the only ones to blame would be inaccurate, but certainly the problem affects them more than their female counterparts.”
The author’s main question, why do we allow video games to proliferate the young so unencumbered? Her implication and my answer, we all have our own “video games” and to limit the youth would mean to shine a light on our own “loves”.
When we are blind to what we truly love, we tend to see things the way we want to see them. In a culture where we can get so easily distracted from reality in a search to create our own reality, is it any wonder that we are so divided over data and facts that we cannot agree upon, because we see what we want to see?