In the medieval morality play Everyman, the underlying theme is "all thing faileth, Save God alone. 841) This theme was meant to be a spiritual lesson to teach people a better way to live their lives. At the time the play was written, it applied very strongly, as clinging to other worldly goods and relationships was a trend of the time. However, things have really not changed much in our current society. The lessons learned in Everyman apply as strongly today as they did during medieval times.
One common theme culture teaches us to cling to today is beauty. From the time we are born, we are presented with images of others (especially women) who are admired for nothing more than their looks. Examples of people like this would include models, many actresses, and singers. In many of these cases we are taught that their beauty is something we should strive for, forgetting all else along the way. What is often overlooked is the beauty cannot last forever - even if it does not disappear until death, it is not something we can keep with us forever. This is demonstrated in the play when the character Everyman calls upon Beauty, who comes with him to his grave. As he asks her to come with him, she answers "I cross out all this; adieu, by Saint John! I take my cap in my lap, and am gone."(230, ll. 800-801) At this point, she abandons Everyman.
Culture today also teaches us to rely heavily on material goods. In an age where technology is growing quickly, society has many new "toys" and trinkets being thrown at it constantly. Be it a new model car, a cellular phone or faster Internet access, it is being advertised as something every person absolutely must have. Of course, in order to buy all these things, there is yet another "must have" which is constantly stressed as being important - money. Money, today, is looked at as being the ultimate cure for any problems life may bring. This is not a new idea.