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There Are Ben Afflecks and There Are Matt Damons. Which One Are You?

I wanted to write a quick Opinyun post reacting to a news headline I read on Twitter. It said something to the effect of Ben Affleck and whatever actress of the month he's dating are calling it quits. Quickly, I tried to imagine the look on Matt Damon's face—you know, because those two should be the ones married to each other.

The look I imagined was one very similar to the facepalm emoji. Or this:

Now, I haven't cared about celebrities or Hollywood in a very long time, and I don't particularly know anything about Matt Damon. I looked it up (thanks good ol' Wikipedia) and it seems like Matt has only been married once and has four kids. He seems like the stable one, happy-go-lucky in interviews, no reports of being an a-hole to fans or set workers or anything, doesn't come off as a know-it-all, and only really speaks when he needs to.

Can't really say the same about his longtime friend. I guess technically, Ben has only been married once, but his relationships sure do get a lot of press. And boy there are so many of them. Good for him, I say. If that is what makes him happy. But I get a sense that nothing makes Ben Affleck happy. He's the guy that doesn't grow up. He's the guy that has multiple midlife crises. He's the guy that doesn't want to give up the fast life. He's the guy that thought he would die before 40, then 40 comes and he doesn't know what to do with himself.

I've had a few friends like this. We used to all be in the same boat. Living fast, without abandon, no direction, just for kicks and fun. Then, I grew up. Got a decent job, met a woman amongst girls and decided to get married, focus on finances and starting a family. Now my life has new meaning, more substantial meaning. I want it to slow down. I'm pointing it towards a certain direction, and while still fun and exciting, it's with more caution and preventative measures.

That sounds like Matt Damon.

Once in a while, I'd have friends over for dinner. They'd bring whoever they were dating at the moment and by all accounts they would seem happy. And I cannot speak to every guy in the world, but I know my friends, and I know that if they could trade what they had for what I have, they would in a second. Each time at the dinner table, my wife and I were confident and content with each other's talking as well as our silence. The party at the other side of the table was the complete opposite. Uneasy, awkward, inadequate in their conversation and especially in their silence. Sure, they probably went home and screwed like rabbits. That's what you do when you have little to nothing else in common. But it's like any other temporary dose of happiness. It fades and leaves you with whatever it is you've made of yourself.

That sounds like Ben Affleck.

Why? I can't imagine to get into his head. He has made a brilliant career out of the entertainment business. I'm sure he has a loving family and plenty of great friends. I just know that when I see guys like him or many of my friends, on the one hand I feel sorry for them. On the other, I feel absolutely blessed and fortunate. Not everyone can find happiness in this world. It is a shame. But it's all the more reason to make a change, take a leap of faith, find something you cannot control and just put your every belief into it.

When I opened my eyes to my surroundings, I realized that it was me who had to change. The world is what the world is. All you can do is change yourself. When I did, everything around me changed for the better. And now I continue to practice the same habits. I have embraced God and Jesus Christ. That alone has brought a happiness and understanding I never thought imaginable.

When you stop seeing yourself as a victim, and start taking responsibility of your own life and the direction it travels, everything else falls into place.

I hate being the one at the table with my figurative palm covering my figurative face, hoping my friend can either get with the program or stop pretending to be a part of the program and embrace and accept the choices he made. Because he is not the guy happily married with children he adores and does everything in his power to nourish, protect, and raise to be even better people than they. He doesn't even have kids, or if he does they aren't his main priority. He hasn't taken the leap to becoming a real man. One who procreates for the sake of the species, who tends to his wife for the sake of the species, who teaches and provides for his children for the sake of the species.

It's why our species is dying and becoming decrepit. We are too selfish and vain to care for the next generation. Soon, there will be no next generation. Maybe that's what we deserve. Good thing I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ.


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