I think therefore I am – so is the converse true? I was driving through the neighbourhood the other day and noticed what many others have – people in the main were engaged in looking down at their phones. Even individuals who were part of a group were in isolation, reading or staring their phones.
It got me thinking. Is there any time to think anymore? If we are constantly bombarded by discrete bits of data, and less discreet entertainment is there any time when we are actually thinking. I don’t mean regurgitating mindless trivia – but having original thoughts.
If we are constantly engaged by external stimuli and merely giving an emotional response, when do we do the creative and important work of thinking.
We should be interacting with our environment and others directly – observing, collecting and collating, analyzing, forming and sharing conjectures.
One of the great pleasures and responsibilities I have is the researching, writing and delivering of homilies or sermons. To do this I need time to engage with some biblical texts. I need time thinking about the original meaning of those texts and the people who wrote them and the audiences that first heard them.
I have to think about our world and society. I have to think about what it means to be human. As a Christian I have to think about what it means to be created and loved by our creator. I have to think about our responsibilities as humans.
And, I have to think about the congregation I am sharing this with.
This forces me to put away the entertainment devices and time-wasters, so I can think and feel.
But what are we to think about a world in which so many people seem not to have an inclination to observe or think? No wonder we get such mindless drivel dumped on us by politicians seeking our vote. Ten second sound clips replace thoughtful discussion. Debates become about ‘knock-out punches’ not the thrust and parry of opinion based on logical thought and facts. Where telling the big lie is more profitable than reasoned deliberation around truth. In a world where we communicate with emoticons rather than language, no wonder emotion rules over intellect, wisdom and thoughtful discourse.
This post will probably receive very few ‘views’ and even fewer ‘comments’. But if I posted some cutesy images of kittens and some emotion filled captions – I could garner an impressive set of statistics.
Don’t get me wrong – I have an i-Phone and I like to send texts and interact through social media like the next person – but I hope I take time to read, learn, observe, interact directly and think.
I shall not despair – but watching the trivialization of civilization makes me feel like DP Gumby – “It makes my brain hurt!”