Last week a survey popped up on the news regarding Scottsdale being the most vain city of 150 cities surveyed. They looked at the number of plastic surgeons per capita of people in the city and came up with Scottsdale as the most vain city. For those of us who live in Scottsdale, it’s not a surprise as it seems that on every corner and in every magazine, there are advertisements for recreating your figure, or changing the wrinkles on your face.
What the news bureaus didn’t take time to report were the other vices that they surveyed with the 150 cities. Las Vegas ended up as the most sinful (lustful) city of the cities represented, but in other cities, bad things happen and stay there too. Stinginess characterized Worcester, MA, and beer drinking took the top spot in Madison, WI. Violent crimes had two top cities of St. Louis and Detroit. The summary for me is that no place is innocent. Everywhere you go, if it’s not one vice, it will be another.
I am reminded of the first community that existed on this planet. It’s the story of Adam and Eve after they were kicked out of the garden and began to propagate the planet. The story emerges in Genesis 4. Adam and Eve brought forth two sons, Cain and Abel. It seems that jealousy created a rift between the brothers. Cain was jealous of Abel and his relationship with God, so he invited Abel out to a field. “While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.” Gen. 4:8. There were 4 people on the face of the earth, and one killed one of the four. Do you realize that 25% of the world’s population was destroyed. Think of the odds if you were thinking about your community. It would cause me not to go outside at night or even in the daytime.
From the very beginning of time, bad things happened to people and that experiential lifestyle has carried over to this very day. As with Cain killing Abel, it was a choice he made based upon his negative feelings of his brother. He had the opportunity to make a different choice, a healthier choice.
As I look at the different vices that cities are shackled with today, lust, anger, stinginess, drunkenness, etc., I see that in all of these vices, we have choices to make of whether or not to allow these vices to become a reality in our lives.
On this journey, as we celebrate Christmas, you and I can choose to make positive choices as we interact with loved ones and friends. I am choosing to work on the potential vices that crop up in my life and make healthier choices. I encourage you to do the same.