A tale of two photos | Teen Life Christian Youth Articles, Daily Devotions

A tale of two photos

One of these pics you've seen before, the other you probably haven't. We want that to change.

Two photos, both released within the same week, part of two radically different narratives. One taken of hungry people desperate for food in a war-torn country. The other of glamorous people desperate for attention in a celebrity-worn country.

Photograph 1 // A Morning in Yarmouk: Masses of refugees wait in line to receive food aid distributed in the Yarmouk camp on Jan. 31 in Damascus, Syria.

Photograph 2 // Ellen’s Oscars Selfie: “If only Bradley’s arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars pic.twitter.com/C9U5NOtGap”. Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars Selfie is the most retweeted tweet of all time with 3,427,994 Retweets and 2,027,957 Favourites (as of 16 May 2014).

A Tale of Two Photos

The differences between these two pictures couldn’t be more stark...

The expressions: Hollywood award nights are full of smiling faces; the same can’t be said of refugee camps.

The size: There are a small bunch of rich people crammed into the selfie; a multitude of needy people fill the shot in Syria.

The people: We know the names of the celebrities; the Syrians are unknown to us.

The distribution: Ellen’s photo was shared a lot; Yarmouk only a little.

What is really important?

Sometimes we fill our lives with the latest celebrity gossip but don’t take much time to consider the weightier issues of our world. Neil Postman argues in his well-known book, Amusing Ourselves to Death:

“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.” 

In other words, when we become obsessed with celebrities and entertainment, we lose sight of what really matters. With that in mind, here are three ways to make sure you stay focused on what's really important:

1. Keep up with world news

Most local and national news sources fall into the entertainment trap. So rather than visiting "entertainment news" sites or your Facebook wall, visit a site like BBC World News to keep up with what’s going on around the world.

2. Pray for the world

Once you’ve read about what’s going on in the world, pray about it! To compliment your reading/viewing of BBC World News, use Operation World to help you know specific prayer requests about the Nations. 

3. Rethink your relationship to entertainment

Don’t give your life to triviality! Check out my other articles about not being distracted by technology and entertainment to find out more about how to do that.

Article adapted from an original post on www.davemiers.com