6.18.2006

A Bobo's LIfe

A few years back a good friend called me a bobo. I had no idea what he meant at the time, although when he explained the term to me it made sense and mostly fit my situation. Recently I've been reading the book Bobos in Paradise: The New Upperclass and How They Got There which defines the term. A bobo, you see, is a combination of the words bourgeois and bohemian. These words have historically stood in stark contract of each other. Bourgeois stands for "of, relating to, or characteristic of the townsmen of the social middle class" while bohmeian is defined as "a person with artistic or literary interests who disregards conventional standards of behavior." Up until the past four decades, it was impossible to be both rising middle class and nonconformist at the same time.

Yet that is not the case today. Today's bobos struggle with their affluence, increasing work demands, and societal concerns. They want to be depicted as carefree, yet often they are moderately wealthy and materialistic despite their despise for wealth and over-involvement. Coming after the age of baby boomers, when excessive work and busyness was valued, bobos want to generally have a good time despite their position in society.

This peculiar circumstance is one I am all too familiar with. As a Christian my despise for worldly (i.e. materialistic) concerns increases the struggle between my bourgeois and bohemian tendencies. I am deeply aware that it is "easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than a [wealthy] man to enter the kingdom of Heaven." Yet I enjoy my job and situation. How do I balance the ways of being a bobo and a Christian? What impact does living in perhaps the richest nation of all time have on my ability to know and love God? As society places labels and terms upon our generation, how does tha affect how I view Christianity, and moreover, God?

So there you go. Possibly a new term; perhaps some interesting questions to ponder. Think it over - I'm going to go enjoy a bobo's life.

1 comment:

Alisha said...

I've heard people call you bobo before, but I thought... well, never mind. You've posed some interesting questions.