When you look convicted up in a dictionary you get a couple of options.
The dictionary defines convict as a verb:
1. to prove or declare guilty of an offense, esp. after a legal trial: to convict a prisoner of a felony.
2. to impress with a sense of guilt.
Or a noun:
3. a person proved or declared guilty of an offense.
4. a person serving a prison sentence.
5. Archaic . convicted.
While conviction is defined only as a noun:
1. a fixed or firm belief.
2. the act of convicting.
3. the state of being convicted.
4. the act of convincing.
5. the state of being convinced.
The word conviction comes from the 1400's, literally translating as "proof" but implying proof of guilt. While convict is a slightly older word evolved from Latin translating as "conquer" and "prove" but also implying guilt.
Interestingly enough, not once does any dictionary attempt to define what convicted actually means. What does it mean to be convicted: To have conviction? To be a convict? One of the rules you learn in school is not to use the word you are defining in your definition. So, FAIL, dictionaries of the English language. You meant well, I'm sure. But you have not helped me define this word that is weighing on my heart.
So I guess that leaves it up to me.
I wrote a blog awhile back called Genesis. I had just watched the film The Book of Eli ((great flick, I highly reccomend it)), and it got to me. The movie is based in a postapocalypic world in which essentials ((food, water, bullets, clothing, etc)) are scarce and people have resorted to all sorts of demoralized methods to stay alive. Due to the deterioraring state of society simple pleasures no longer exist, specifically books. It follows a man named Eli who is travelling West with a book, the reason and why unknown. Now, I won't spoil the rest of the film for you, but the things he faces in order to preserve the safety of this book are fairly phenomenal. It made me feel like an absolute brat for living in the world I live in. For taking the world I live in for granted. All my little luxuries. Are you convicted yet, Malia?
My father has been reading a book, it's call The Hole In Our Gospel. It's written by the President of World Vision, Richard Stearns, about what we're not doing in the world. It's directed at Christians, but I think it's an important message for all people. Along with the book came a Six Week Quest "To Make Poverty Personal" says the tagline. Click the link. As I said, it's directed at Christians, but you don't have to be a Christian to take this to heart.
Food For Thought:
A child dies every 21 seconds from a water-related disease. This amounts to nearly 6000 deaths or the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing everyday.
Nearly 3 billion people ((half the world's population)) live on less than $2 a day.
American's spend an estimated $20 billion annually on ice cream, an amount that could feed 83 million hungry children for an entire year.
Every 3 seconds a child dies because he or she is hungry.
The amount you spend eating out, $13, can buy a chicken for a family to provide fresh eggs everyday plus extra eggs to sell.
It is common for a family member to walk a mile or more to fetch a single bucket of water while the average American uses 170 gallons of water everyday.
Americans generate about 4.5 pounds of garbage per person everyday, which amounts to more than 220 million tons per year. Although Americans represent roughly 5% of the world's population, it is estimated we generate 40% of it's waste.
Trafficking in humans generates profits in excess of $12 billion a year for those who, but force and deception, sell human lives into slavery and sexual bondage. More than 2 million children are trapped in forced prostitution.
Women own less than 1% of the world's property, but work 2/3's of the world's labor hours and earn just 10% of the world's labor wage.
Today there are 9.9 million refugees and 23.7 million internally displaced people as a result of wars and conflicts.
There are 138 million orphans in the world. 15 million of those were left parentless by AIDS.
Approximately 2/3 of the world's slaves are in South Asia. It is estimated that in India alone there are as many as 15 million children bonded into slavery.
About 854 million people do not have enough food to sustain them.
Clean water is not available for over 1 billion people.
Are you convicted yet?
The Six Week Quest asks its participants "to make poverty personal" by doing some of the following:
Try spending an entire day barefoot.
Wear the same clothes two days in a row - what about a whole week?
Carry around an empty water bottle.
Do a 30 hour famine.
Fill a single bucket with water and use only that for a day.
Skip eating out and buy a family a chicken.
Are you convicted yet?
I'm taking a class at Green River Community College, of which I do not know the name. I am only taking it because it was one of the maybe 10 classes that were left with spots available when I registered. It's listed as AMES 150 which is something like American Ethnical Studies. My professor is an angry//passionate guy, I have difficulties deciding which. The class is a good class, thought provoking and belief challenging. For the first time in my entire life, I realized my parents are a bi-racial couple. I mean, I always knew my dad is Hawaiian Chinese and my mum is as Caucasian as it gets - but I never thought of them as a bi-racial couple. My professor is constantly pressing issues of race, gender, sexuality, ability, etc. He condemns the system and how it works and how people allow it to work. He reveals the problems of society, cultural hegemony, government, meritocracy, heirarchy, etc. with zealous fervor! And while what he says frustrates me from time to time, there is no denying his view points have validity. There is something wrong. In fact, there are many things wrong within this world. The reason I find my professor infuriating is not that he angrily points out flaws, but that he fails to address the questions revealing these flaws should generate: How do we create real change, good change?
Are you convicted yet?
Conviction: Proof implying guilt. I am guilty. Guilty of taking my life for granted. Guilty of complaining when I have more than I could ever need. Guilty of wasting water, resources, time. The proof is my attitude. The proof is my closet, my home, my cellphone, my comsumption, my education, this blog. I am guilty.
Convict: Conquering guilt. I think more than proving guilt or "conquering" it by means of say incarceration, we should simply conquer it. Another etymology offered the word "overcome." Overcome guilt. By means of self, not judgement. Overcoming guilt through action, through being convicted.
Convicted: Being found guilty by your ethics or morals. Conquering, overcoming that guilt. And being moved to action by what you believe.
That is the key; the action. When you are convicted you are moved to action. Called to action by your beliefs. Whatever your beliefs may be, whether religious, ethical, moral - they move you to action. They make you convicted.
Are you convicted yet?
I'm struggling. Because I feel like there is no action in my life. I am falling prey to the simplicity of living in this Westernized society where advertisments inundate, money talks, trust is nonexistent, and social heirarchy reigns. My heart aches to be a part of something more. I am tired, no, exhausted by who I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to want. I am exhausted by my convictions. Being convicted without an outlet is driving me insane. And I am frustrated, angry with God because He has put all these things on me without giving me a place to put them.
"You can change the world, you know?"
"Okay, but how?"
"Meh, figure it out."
I do believe this is the moment for a "WTF MATE?!" I want to change the world, I want to be a part of something, I want to be convicted and let my life and actions show that. But how? What am I supposed to be doing? What is it?
Are you, convicted yet?