Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Age of the Personal

Late last night I posted a review of "In Constant Prayer" by Robert Benson.  Over the next few days I have a few bits and pieces from the book to share here, starting with this lengthy quotation which struck me as a rather accurate, humorous and profound assessment of the western obsession with individuality.

"We live in the age of the personal, I think.  At least, I like saying it that way better than I like referring to myself as a member of the Me Generation.

We have personal soundtracks on portable personal sound systems so we can sort of clear out our own personal space whenever we happen to be out there among the human race.

We have personal computers, and we can hire personal shoppers - though I have to confess that I am still personally up to the task of disposing of my personal income myself.  We have personal identification numbers and some of us have personalized license plates.

I heard on the radio an advertisement that says I have a personal banker, though we have never actually met.  And if you met me, you could tell by looking at me that I clearly have a personal style that fits comfortably around my persona.

Once a quarter, I get a personal invitation in the mail to have my car's oil changed and engine belts checked by my personal mechanic, the one who works for the dealership that services my ultimate personal driving machine.  Actually, my car was made in Germany for someone else in 1986; it says so in my mechanic's personal files that he keeps on the personal driving habits of all the persons who have ever owned this car.

I take personal responsibility whenever I should, or at least when I have to, and I am personally convinced that I am on the planet to be my own person.

So it is not really a surprise that my personal prayer to my personal Savior is all too often about one person.

We live in the age of the personal.  And personally, I am tired of it." 

(Robert Benson, In Constant Prayer, pg. 53-54)

What do you think?  Are you tired of the age of the personal?


Miss said...

AMEN! This is fantastic!

Miss said...

PS. Sorry, not up to profound comments today... :0)

Lisa said...

Welcome here!

And I did think it was rather fantastic. Almost any comment is always welcome here, profound or not :)

robert benson and ben stroup said...

Thanks again for reading my sentences and for saying such kind things about them. I grin every time. To paraphrase Reynolds Price — The unexpected encouragement is a permanently enabling gift.

Namaste —

R. Benson

Lisa said...

Thanks for stopping by Mr. Benson!

Namaste indeed!