We live in a world that is very man-centered. That's the motto of our secular humanists "Man is the measure of all things."
We live in a world that is very self-centered. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists make it their business to study you, to help you explore the inner recesses and plummeting depths of-you, yourself.
Of course advertisers pick up on this and help create this illusion of a Me-centered world, a universe of Me. Population one.
And so when we think about the things that matter most in life, we think naturally about...me. What makes me look good. What brings glory to me.
Money, good looks, nice physique, fame, respect, people around us who look up to us, to envy us. That's why we're so star struck by Hollywood actors. That's why paparazzi have jobs.
Because we want to look at them, we want to look like them, we want to be them. Since they represent all those things-money, good looks, nice physique, fame, respect, adoring fans.
There's a poem that was written about this fascination by Edwin Arlington Robinson in 1897. But people always felt this way. They looked up to someone in their town, in their community. Someone who seemed to have it all. Who received all the glory. Who was envied by all. Everyone wanted to be them.
And in this poem, he describes a man like that named Richard Cory.
"Whenever Richard Cory went down town, We people on the pavement looked at him: He was a gentleman from sole to crown. Clean favored, and imperially slim. "And he was always quietly arrayed, And he was always human when he talked; But still he fluttered pulses when he said 'Good morning,' and he glittered when he walked. "And he was rich - yes, richer than a king - And admirably schooled in every grace: In fine, we thought that he was everything To make us wish that we were in his place. "So on we worked, and waited for the light, And went without meat, and cursed the bread: And Richard Cory, one calm summer night Went home and put a bullet through his head."