Why Linsanity?

Why are you drawn to Jeremy Lin?  Maybe you’re not.  I am.  For all of my formative years I lived in New York or the New York City area, and I cheered for the team that bears my name.  I still believe the best dunk of all time was John Starks, another surprise NBA star, exploding on the baseline and throwing one down on Michael Jordan and Horace Grant.

So, I admit to being caught up in the excitement.  But, what is it about the Jeremy Lins and Tim Tebows that make us want to spend a small fortune on jerseys and tickets to see them play live?  They’ve done amazing things, but there are things that are far more valuable to attract our attention.  Dressing up in support of real heroes should translate into people walking around in a nun’s habit like Mother Theresa or in fatigues to emulate our military.  But, we don’t (most of us, anyway).

Is it because, while we honor and respect those who make great sacrifices for others, we don’t really want to be like them?  If we had the chance to be like Jeremy Lin, or for ladies who would love to be his vaLINtine, most of us would take it.

What do you think?  I’m tossing this out there for a bit of research for my book.  Thanks for helping out.

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3 thoughts on “Why Linsanity?

  1. I think we have the media thrown in our faces every single day. We hear about what this celebrity or athlete is doing and so on. What we don’t hear about is the real heroes fighting for our country, freedom, and even religion. Maybe they should do a reality show of a soldier in combat? Or a Christian in a foreign country fighting for Christianity!

  2. Its all about being more than we are. It is a natural result of sin that we simply don’t like who we are…at any level. From the lowliest addict to the wealthiest investment banker; from the poorest of men in third world countries, to the most humble of nuns in a far away convent. We simply don’t want to be who we are….at any level. After all, this is the essence of the human experience is it not? The addict uses his drugs to forget who he has become; to alter his state of mind so that he may escape his reality. The wealthy banker strives to be accepted by his peers or even more so he wants to surpass them. Simply “being” is not enough. He wants to “be” more than he is. The poor man in the third world country and even the nun the in the convent want to be different people. The poor man would like to be at the least….not poor, while the nun works to be more like Christ. Even as Christians do we not strive to become like Christ. Do we not yearn to be more like Him? Are we not called to crucify ourselves and die to our flesh and to this world? The exception to this rule may be Diogenes. He was a true cynic and would rather lay around the city dump with the dogs than “improve” his life. Yet, he is considered one of the great philosophers of ancient times. When I watch Jeremy Lin play and I factor in his story and his literal overnight success I also wonder what it would be like to be in his shoes. Of course I do this quite often with many different people. What would it be like to be Mark Zuckerberg, or Bill Gates, or Warren Buffet, or an astronaut? Or, how about this: What it be like to be Diogenes, or Alexander the Great, or Paul the Apostle. Our imaginations and our fantasies are a part of who we are; our yearning to be something that we are not; to be more than we are. Fundamentally, I believe this comes from what is called “implicit memory”. I believe that deep in our souls, deep in our conscious we ‘remember’, on an emotional level, that we were once glorified with God and were created perfectly in His image. At one point humanity was nearly infinitely greater than we are today. We implicitly, subconsciously identify with the divine image we were created in and so anything short of that propels our desire to be more than we are. Even the unsaved know that our current state is inferior to what we could be if the image of God in us was fully realized. Though they do not call the image God, they call it human 2.0. Linsanity will continue, because we are inevitably drawn to that which is “greater” than ourselves and we want to be greater, because inherently were created to be the greatest of all creations. As for why we choose a basketball player over a soldier or Mother Theresa….well that is simple too. We are selfish and we are scared and we have a tendency to self preservation. It takes a special person to be Mother Theresa. I believe she was gifted with supernatural abilities by God to carry out her ministry. There is really no other way around it. As for the soldier…well soldiers get shot and they shoot other people. Our brains don’t correlate that with what would be considered desirable. Lin, on the other hand, is “rich and famous” and thats what we want. Its sad, but I think its true. This is why we are called to crucify ourselves and die to these desires, BECAUSE they are selfish, self serving, and ultimately vain. Its the sin nature in all of us.

    • “Implicit memory” used in this way is an interesting thought. I believe it is normally used with experiences people have actually taken part in. Only Adam and Eve (before the Fall) and Jesus have experienced a state of human perfection. Is your thought then, that a hint of this is given to us by God but that our sin distorts it, much like love? So our dreams of achieving great accomplishments are masking our desire for redemption then, as per this idea, but most don’t see it that way and end up pursuing temporal achievements rather than eternal ones.

      By the way, this idea relates well with my post “Hasenpfeffer” a couple days ago.

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