Thursday, July 16, 2015

Original Copy, and other (oxy)morons

It's easy to spot the big issues in hindsight, but it's difficult when you're in the middle of them.

On a wrongness scale of 1 to 10, Hitler's Third Reich was a 10.

We can see that now, and we're impressed by the fellow in the picture who perhaps had reservations about joining in with the popular movement.

Most folks followed along with little critical thought being part of their decision to do so.  They became copies of a proffered norm, and participants in extraordinary wickedness.

Noel Jones, in “The Battle for the Mind” offers that once a man accepts the world’s ways, that becomes the character and core of who he is.  We are giving someone else control of our choices and future.  Fitted to the norm, we are no longer an original, but a copy.  We are not in control of our own mind, we are being shaped by something or someone else. It means we are living a scripted role, having 'cut and pasted' the world’s ways and thoughts over our own; we are conformed to the world, a moron (foolish, thoughtless, senseless).
It is better, but not easier.

Are we originals?  How often do we notice the inner conflict that comes with being an original?  Or are we comfortable with what we see.  Truth be told, we're all tainted to some degree.

It's not an easy path, accepting some but not all parts of our culture, supporting some but not all of a candidate's positions, questioning 'fair and balanced' reporting. And how about teaching our kids to think clearly and for themselves, to lead rather than follow.

We face difficult tasks today, and we're right in the middle of it all.  We get to choose, of course, but it will take some deliberate thought and work every day. The hardest question, perhaps, is not 'what am I against' but 'what is my hope for my own character and that of my children'.

A clue to our own battle: a typical day will be marked with occasions where we say to ourselves, "no, that's not what I hope for," and adjusting our behavior.  It may be a television show, a sexually exploitive advertisement, our own anger while driving, a harsh conversation, ....