The empty self is passive. The couch potato is the role model for the empty self, and there can be no doubt that Americans are becoming increasingly passive in their approach to life. We let other people do our living and thinking for us: The pastor studies the Bible for us, the news media does our political thinking for us, and we let our favorite sports team exercise, struggle, and win for us. From watching television to listening to sermons, our primary agenda is to be amused and entertained. Holidays have become vacations. Historically, a holiday was a ‘holy day,’ an intrinsically valuable, special, active change of pace in which, through proactive play and recreation, you refreshed your soul. A vacation is a ‘vacating’—even the language is passive—in order to let someone else amuse you. The passive individual is a self in search of pleasure and consumer goods provided by others. Such an individual increasingly becomes a shriveled self with less and less ability to be proactive and take control of life. When people live for pleasurable satisfaction, they become empty selves and, because God did not make us to live for ‘happiness,’ our lives fall apart.” — Excerpt from The Lost Virtue of Happiness by J.P. Moreland and Klaus Issler.

Speaker, Educator, President of A Clear Lens, Inc. and host of A Clear Lens Podcast. B.Sc., M.Ed. Lives in Las Vegas with his wife, two sons, and dogs.