Thursday, October 6, 2011

An Unoriginal Title to a Blog Post

I have a theory about our modern Western society. I believe it is supported by the evidence of personal experience. We cannot think for ourselves anymore as a general populace. This is not a new hypothesis and nor is my first reason. It is the second reason stemming from the first that has a sense of originality. The first reason is our technology does the thinking for us. No longer do we have to calculate in our minds or on paper sums and multiplications. And anyone who does not use spell check is just lazy. In fact, for newer programs spell check is run automatically. Now, we can stare screens for long periods of time without challenging mental faculties as we play mindless games on our phones, video game consoles, and computers. That is not to say that all games are deficient in this aspect, but a fair amount of new ‘apps’ on phones and many games on the latter two do lend to a lack of challenging thinking. But, even the good games encourage the players to play for long periods of time in order to accomplish all the feats necessary for achievement. This can lead to hours upon hours of missing person-to-person contact and becoming socially retarded.

But, here is the second reason, with all this new technology we bombard ourselves with lights, sounds, entertainment, etc and very rarely are able to sit in silence and either just read or think, particularly the latter. Silence is scary to the human mind in Western society. People do not think for themselves any more. They want their entertainment and technology to do the thinking for them. The general populace is being ‘dumbed’ down to the point where thinking is a challenge, imagination is lacking, and creativity is replaced by re-creativity. What happened to people being able to just sit in their silent area without having to turn on the television or listen to music or play the latest ‘app’ game on their phone? We would rather waste our hours with technology either doing our thinking for us or not thinking at all or not even going outside to enjoy the sounds of nature on a nice day.

A product of that is that we tend to do things quickly without thinking about them. We have become rather impulsive in general. And that’s where marketing of products and the general spend-quickly-and-often has caught up to us. We have to have the latest thing and fast. We see things we want and we get them because they’re in front of us. And I see in general that this society of Western civilization is eventually going to proverbially ‘go to Hell in a hand-basket’ if we do not start encouraging our children to think for themselves. Parents should talk and listen to their kids and encourage them to have imagination. Imagination is the fuel for true innovation and revolution. A thinking generation could help solve the problems of the world rather than hinder them by lack of effort to change anything and the jaded nature of generations prior who could not. With technology and advancement aided by and aiding intelligent and creative attempts for solutions to problems, we could start towards helping humanity more in general.

God gave us minds to not be mindless, unthinking drones regurgitating information and gossip. God baptized humanity with the great imagination and self-awareness that is part of Him. We should appreciate such a gift and not waste it. Challenge yourself to think. Take time in silence to sit and ponder or possibly do something that challenges the mind. Just limit your intake of time-wasting on mindless visual and noise stimuli. And when you have done so, use it to better not only yourself, but help others. Nothing could give greater gratitude to God for His gift of mind and imagination than to use it for the good and love of all and yourself.