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Do You Want to BE Someone or DO Something?

January 18, 2017

Brett and Kate McKay offer reflections from the life of Air Force Colonel John Boyd. This is not a Christian document, but it offers advice that ministers of Christ might well apply to their own situations.

Research has shown time and time again that kids of our modern age aspire for what’s perceived as a more glamorous life than one of service and lasting legacy. In fact, the top three career aspirations of today’s 5- to 11-year-olds are sports star, music star, and actor. Just 25 years ago, that same survey turned up teacher, doctor, and banker. Young people want to be recognized, to be famous, and very early on pick up the fact that the path to celebrity (not to mention government service) largely involves telling people what they want to hear — packaging up what’s already popular and selling it back. For it’s not just the military that prizes the status quo; while society is supposedly more tolerant than ever, any nail that pops up from the mainstream very quickly gets hammered down. In our digital age, the righteous online mob can quickly mobilize and silence any opinion considered aberrant. The result is a chilling effect where people have to watch every word they say lest it be publicly trounced upon.

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