Hunger for Authenticity: “Cultivate a Better World”

by Controversial Subjects, Faith & Life, World's View

An impressive ad for their new game released, Chipotle’s Scarecrow depicts the story of a Scarecrow whose mission is to “rescue the City of Plenty from Crow Foods, the powerful industrial food corporation that has taken over the city. Tilt and tap your way through four unique worlds to protect vulnerable veggies, rescue caged animals, and bring fresh food to the citizens of Plenty, all while dodging the menacing Crowbots.”

The video is eerily set to the song “Pure Imagination”, painting a stark contrast between the song’s lyrics and the utter lack of imagination painted on the screen.

A Deeper Look

Moving beyond the obvious aspects of the video –the outcry against industrialization and artificialization in the food industry that has reached breaking point levels– I would like to talk about authenticity. It seems that at least for a time, if the salesperson is capable enough, we tend to content ourselves with cheap imitations and more convenient commodities. It is a gradual process, one in which the paradigms of how things should be done are slowly mutated. We stop asking for what is natural and simply ask for what is common. Little by little, we allow ourselves to be dragged further and further away from how things are, to how we decide to make them instead. We lose that childish entrapment before the miracle of a plant that grows and instead indulge ourselves in a confident pride for how we have “understood, manipulated, and improved” that very same miracle.

Still, there comes a time when a voice inside of him says, “Enough is enough! This is all wrong! This isn’t the way things were supposed to be!” You see, sooner or later, we come to realize that more than ridiculously convenient quantities can never satisfy that deeper hunger within: the hunger for authenticity. It is a hunger that expresses itself more and more in today’s society, especially amongst the youth. We are tired of counterfeits! Who cares if the fruits of artificiality shine, when its content only makes us feel the twinges of our authentic hunger more!

As we see in the video, the path towards authenticity can be summarized in three fundamental steps:

1. Peeling back the masks: The experience of perceiving the onslaught of contradictions present between what the world advertises and the reality truly behind it, creates in the scarecrow a feeling of disappointment, of sadness that borders on despair, till the point when he returns to his home to rediscover the beauty that he is truly seeking.
2. A brush with authenticity: The key moment is when he grabs the red pepper. There, things begin to make sense again. Life takes on a whole new shade of color, of meaning, of richness, of flavor. It is the passage moving from two dimensions to three. It is just a moment, a brush with authenticity, but it is enough to change a life.
3. Setting up shop: Ever tasted something so amazing that the first words that popped out of your mouth were, “You’ve gotta try this!”. That is the experience of authenticity that cries out through the pores of our being. The only way to savor things more is by sharing them..

Thinking like an Apostle

At times, we too can feel overwhelmed by the massiveness of the world’s counterfeiting capacity. How on Earth can we compete with that? What we must always remember is that we have an ally: the human heart. Each day, we must wake up in the morning with the conviction that the human heart, molded in the hands of a God’s love that surpasses all imagination, desires something more than what the world bargains for. The longing for authenticity is a most human desire. Certainly many have tried to silence it or overwhelm it in a deluge of falsity, but there it lies, firm in the storm. This must renew us in our efforts to set up shop, to present that Gospel in all its freshness and vitality. What is our product? Well, it’s not really ours at all, it’s rather a gift, a gift to be shared with the same generosity with which it was given. It is the gift of a life in Christ, whose grace is the only ingredient to an existence of joyful authenticity.

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