John Lennon was biased. He had the one thing that made his imaginary world impossible: recognition. The whole world knew who he was, and he had everything- much more than the things he asked us to pretend not having.
Imagine with me, for a moment, a world of zero public identification. (And this post is in no way about being able to get away with evil.) Outside of our own homes, we are completely unknown and unrecognized. Anonymous and androgynous. Only our immediate family and closest friends know us for who we are – just not what we do. How we “contribute to society.”
“It’s easy if you try.”
We work, but there are no name tags. We dress the same, look the same, drive the same car. We still have our unique abilities and talents, there’s just no names associated with any of it. We have our specialists – doctors, chefs, and entertainers. At sporting events, there are no names or numbers on the jerseys. Our movies are all about the average Joe. Our policies are decided collectively, Borg-like. We all get paid. And the daily work gets done, as in any average bee-hive or ant-hill.
What do you think would be different? (Naturally, I’m going to tell you.)
Ephesians 2:9 You are not saved by the things you have done, so there is nothing to boast about. :10 God has made us what we are… so that we would spend our lives doing the good things He had already planned for us to do. “God gives us natural talents and spiritual gifts and hearts with unique passions. And He shapes us further by our individual journeys.” (WiRE).
Somehow, I believe we would be free to discern our purpose – what God made us to do – and would gravitate to it. In anonymity there is innocence, and the ability to simply do the good. We would be loved only by those closest to us, not those who think they know us because they’ve “seen” us in action, associating us only with what we do. If there were no recognition, there’d be no boasting. And there’d be no trying to do what we were not meant to do, only what we were purely and naturally good at. Because they’d be no way to compare ourselves to any one else. The only standard would be, then, doing our best at what ever we did.
What would you do if money didn’t matter – but you still had to do something productive? First, the definition of ‘productive’ would be re-evaluated, and it would have to do with improving the world, making life easier for others. The goal would be practical, serving, Helping Other People Endure (HOPE). Why? Because we were made to work, to spend our energy on something real – something meaningful that shows non-virtual results and not just our own pleasure or entertain-meant. Because personal accomplishments are ultimately empty without the recognition.
We were designed to be recognized – but by who? The masses? No. Individually. Face-to-face. With our loved ones, and our maker.