A lure is used to attract something… usually a fish... only sometimes we humans are just as easily trapped by a shiny bit of metal... or the promise of one… My Preciousss!!!
This comes out of nowhere… the above initial sentence was written sometime ago and I don’t really even remember how long ago. I sit here and, in continuing the writing, look to find a way to follow up on it and to make it into something that could, perhaps, be posted. Perhaps the only reason I try, is the bit reference to Gollum’s (Lord of The Rings) cry about his “Preciousss”… his shiny ring.
As I was hooked on Tolkien’s stories some 40 years ago, the general philosophy expounded in these as well as in other stories of the Fantasy genre was and continues to be the eternal struggle between Good and Evil. How we, as human beings, manage to take many issues and turn them into unnecessary warring fields, with the attending casualties. Then, there is always the “good” human, who manages to elevate his/her spirit into a higher realm and from there dispense the necessary force so that the wrong done can be righted.
We have all determined at one time or another just how well we are willing to follow those parameters which are deemed acceptable, by society at large. The road is traced and it is traveled. There are bits of shiny gold which show up every once in a while and set our hearts “a-flitter” but these turn out to be, for the most part, Fool’s Gold.
Among the many real blessings I have had in life there is one in particular which has helped me grow. Travel. Yep… travel. Every dark cloud has a silver lining somewhere, if we just make the effort to look for it. Travel, as heavy as it was at times for me, was indeed a dark cloud that covered my family for I was kept away from them for weeks at a time. What was the silver lining? Knowledge; of places, people and cultures… all different and thrown into a very eclectic bag; adapting to these, understanding that as they were different to me, I was just as different to them.
Today, as I hear people who talk about others in a very derogatory manner, it strikes me that we, for all the advances we may have accomplished in many areas, are still far behind others who have less in the way of material things but much more in the way of spiritual and emotional maturity. There are people in the world who still live much as their ancestors lived 200-300 years ago. In doing so, they still cling to the mores and traditions honed throughout generations… the very same that helped them survive and grow with their environment.
The generation that is now being shaped for the future, right here in our country, is being electronically spoon-fed. They live from the computer to the tablet to the smart phone (at times I think much smarter than the person who carries it). They can be seen walking, sitting and/or leaning into whatever the nearest solid object is with plugs in their ears and always… always keeping their thumbs in that perpetual motion that texting requires.
We are growing a generation that will have calluses on their fingers by the time they reach pubescence… not to mention calluses on their ears… these last can keep them (intentionally or otherwise) from enjoining with their friends in a practice which is becoming passé very quickly: simple conversation. Notice I did not say “intelligent” conversation… just conversation. I have witnessed folk who, being in the same room and practically next to each other, hold a texting conversation when all they would have to do is… well, talk.
While teaching English, my students are constantly reminded that language is not really learned by “osmosis”… you don’t just pick up a book, hold it to your head and “effect” a transfer of data. You have to actually be “interactive” with the material, read and practice it. Constantly. It takes a concerted effort that many are no longer willing to do. Yet some of the students, those who come from a humbler origin, whose minds have not yet been compromised by this electronic complacency, actually get ahead of others who come to class with their paraphernalia to help them think.
Shiny gold… Fool’s Gold. That is the “gold” that technology offers us and our children. Yes, I agree… Well used it will actually be very helpful and an invaluable aid to learning and experiencing new frontiers. Yet when it becomes, like we have allowed so many other things to, a be-all rather than a tool, it will easily take over the life of a person and, literally, stop it from growing.
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