Friday, 15 January 2010

The desire to be 'like others'

All of us have this desire to be 'like others', to be 'normal'. It is only young people who want to be 'different', something 'special', what others are not! Perhaps it is due to our fear of 'standing out' in a group. We would not like to noticed and therefore prefer to be just like everyone else. This is if we see that 'standing out' would be hazardous or bring along with it risks that we fear facing. But if this 'standing out' is going to be prestigious just for its own sake, then we do not mind.

The people of Israel of old, as we read in the first reading of the day, were in this sense a bit queer. They ask Samuel (and God) for a king, just like the 'other nations'. Perhaps they too wanted to be 'normal'. Or they must have thought that having a king who is more efficient than Samuel (the Prophet) would be an added feather in their cap. They failed to see that it was actually Yahweh who was running the show through Samuel.

A good lesson for us all: not to be swayed by the exercise of power, but realise the source of power and respect it.

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