Saturday, January 5, 2013

Face to Face with One-Track Minds.

Telecommunication technology is revolutionizing the world in ways that are  mind-numbing. The speed and accessibility of high-tech information covering the globe is knocking at the doors of nations that have suppressed their people for hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of years. But human minds and emotions are sticky things. Humans do not like challenges to traditional thinking, so many will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the new world.This is inevitable because the world is going through an unstoppable wave of human development and it cannot be turned back. It is like a tsunami of unthinkable velocity, and so those who are fooling themselves into thinking that traditional tendencies could stop the change they abhor are in for a shocking encounter.
 Technology in communication is ripping the covers off other things too, and the cracks and crevices in the thinking of our people are surfacing. Here too, people have lived undisturbed inside these crevices and they are stunned to imagine that there could be anything wrong with being there. Holes do feel like safe places to hide from the turmoils of life, but truth when ignored is dangerous even for those who live inside of cracked-thinking.In the United States of America, for instance, the cracks are being pried into by the media who are asking the American ultra-conservative politicians  some discomforting questions about their traditional beliefs and practices that go contrary to  what is today known about how the real world works. The conservative politicians are squirming in their crevices, causing conservative governors like  Governor Christie to squirm, and almost scream in discomfort when asked his thoughts about evolution and the age of the earth. To these very natural modern-day questions from alert journalists (according to a new your times article entitled New Rules for the New Year)  Governor Christie  fumed, "None of your business", and "I am not a Scientist, man".
 We have not yet been so touched by such deep challenges to our traditional beliefs in the Caribbean,perhaps because we do not produce anything here designed to change the world in any real sense. We have the sun, sea and sand, and these do not require much thinking to maintain, so I predict we will remain, to a large degree, snug in our crevices as the world changes around us. Many of us will glare awe-struck at the changes and  pacify ourselves with the well-worn, awe-inspired expression, "well- Jesus is really coming for his world for true".
I live in a part of the world where people think they are helping  and doing humanity a favour by forwarding holy writings to people like me and others who are unlike I am on our smart phones. Not long ago I received one of these forwarded notes, telling me a story of a young lady who was walking in a dark alleyway and encounterd a stranger in the darkness. She prayed to God for his protection and bravely walked on pass the stranger. Later that night she heard the news report stating that the stranger had raped and murdered a young lady who had passed that way a few hours before she did. She learned that during the interrogation, the man revealed that another young lady had passed him in the alleyway but he did not interfere with her because she was accompanied by a stranger.
 Now, I am expected by the sender of that forward to say praise the lord, and to stand amazed in the presence of the stranger of Galilee. Instead my mind took a swerve and did what any intelligent person aught to. My mind began asking questions; not whether the story was true, but was the man intoxicated or high on drugs when he saw the stranger walking with the girl? Didn't the raped and murdered girl scream to the highest heaven and pray to the very same God that the  one who escaped simply whispered her prayer to?I have no doubt that if she was a Caribbean female she did just that. Why didn't God simply sweep up the man in a whirl wind and slam him into the earth?
But of course I think too much and should not be asking any questions at all. I am simply expected to avoid such thoughts because the forwarded message is about the goodness of God, and I am a awful man for  choosing to think just as I would about any thing else. It is quite safe and acceptable to think when other matters are put before me, but once my smart-tech phone, in an age of smart technological development and learning places these things on my screen, I am expected to have a one-track mind and simply whisper a devotional "amen".
I know the appropriate quotations which follow the readings of articles like this: In the last days men will be so wise that they will become  foolish, and the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men. I have no response to those who are incapable of alternative thinking while in the comfort of crevices, in the midst of an increasingly enlightened and changing world.

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