Time check: 4:39am. I don’t have sleep, and clearly it doesn’t intend on coming any time soon. I had two options. Either keep lying on my bed while I think and worry about all I need to read for the forthcoming bar course examinations (which, sadly, I was doing in large quantities) or to grab my headsets listen to some really good music (Travis Greene’s “You Made a Way” for some reason has been my jam for the past two days) as I write about something that has been on my mind since Monday.
On Monday I decided that I will be embarking on a study about Vanity and how it affects our spiritual lives and just us as people generally. This I decided after I read something someone had written about needing to stop taking pictures as much as she does because it is all vanity and she wouldn’t that affecting her. This wasn’t all that inspired my decision, a number of other things that have happened in my life this year got me thinking about vanity and trying to really understand it in a Christian perspective. What I read was just the last stroke on the Carmel’s back. Before this year, I never really had much thought to this topic because I guess I just didn’t find it necessary then. Now, I really need to understand this.
First, let’s define vanity. My dictionary defines vanity as:
2. Excessive pride in, or admiration of one’s own abilities, appearance or achievements.
So here’s my question:
At what point exactly is the indulgence in the vanities of life said to be a menace to someone’s life?
Someone called me vain because I take too many pictures. The reasons he had for saying that were far from the reasons why I take pictures!. Actually I think this story needs to be told. It’s really brief! Let’s have a brief side bar. Shall we?
Here’s what happened.
So, person X (who barely knows me) gets into my gallery sometime in February and was wondering why I had a certain number of pictures, most of which were pictures of me or my friends and I. Well, I laughed, and just told him that they didn’t seem too many to me. So he goes on and on about how they are really many considering most of them had something to do with me. So I told him they were initially about ten times more than that from last year but as is my habit, at the beginning of the year I transfer pictures from the previous year into my laptop and delete them from my phone. So, really, the number of pictures I’d accumulated from January to February didn’t seem many to me. He looked at me in bewilderment and told me I am a vain person and I needed to change. Lol. What does being vain mean? It has many meanings from being overly proud of oneself especially ones appearance or achievements, to being showy and ostentatious, etc. So I asked person X (who barely knows me, remember?) why he thought so, he said that because I took an outrageous number of pictures, it meant I was so obsessed with my appearance and I was being showy about it and attracting attention to myself!. So I explained to him that I really take pictures just because I’m one of those people who likes to take pictures and will jump at the slightest opportunity to, just because it is truly a happy place for me and not because I want to be showy about it. I asked him whether the fact that I have an outrageous number of pictures stored in my laptop since 2013, but I have barely 250 pictures posted on the only social media site I consistently post my pictures on (Instagram) doesn’t prove to him that clearly this picture taking thing I do isn’t for him, or anybody else and it’s definitely not because I want to be showy about myself and attract attention but just because I am a person who finds pleasure in taking pictures and having memories. And besides people who know me really well always complain about me having so many beautiful pictures, but I never really post any of them anywhere. And I usually give them the same response; I’m taking the picture so that I can have a memory. If I post it, yyaayy! Good for me!. If I don’t, I’m still okay because posting on social media wasn’t the main intention behind taking the picture. Person X stood his ground despite what I’d told him, so I gave up, moved on swiftly and I’d even forgotten about it until Monday.
Anyway, with the pictures thing, I grew up in a home where my parents took pictures of EVERYTHING. Right from the day we were born, to our first birthdays, to our first visits to the village, to those wide smiled pictures when we lost our first tooth, to when we went to school for the first time, etc. My parents value pictures and they always capture memorable moments to date. And it’s really sweet looking at those pictures. And how thankful I am that I can still have those memories over 20 years later. I’d like to be 40 and grab an album to show my kids how I looked at 20. Wouldn’t that be awesome!
Anyway, that was a side bar. Back to the post.
So like I said, that thing that I read about this person not wanting to be affected by her pictures caught my attention and that’s when I said to myself “okay. This is it! I think it’s just me who clearly is still ignorant with regards to this vanity topic!” I decided that my Bible, my God and I need to have some deep dates and discuss this topic over a period of time.
I’d also like to ask what you think about vanity and when exactly do you think it becomes a menace?
So, lets share in the comments section. If you have too much to say on the topic and feel like you wouldn’t say all of it in a comment, feel free to write a blog post on it and I’ll check it out. Also, if you’ve already written on this topic, you can leave a link to it which I will read. Thank you.
Otherwise I hope you are okay and have a great day!