Thursday, April 10, 2008


Watching my two younger daughters attempting to do home school math together the last couple days is a perfect example why societies (people attempting to work together towards a goal) at some point began stepping into every one's lives to force them into specific molds. It might be a successful way to accomplish conformity but it is terribly destructive to genuine learning and growing towards harmony.

One choice seems to be much messier and more costly in the moment and it is...but the other one isn't helpful just because it seems easier.


Sue said...

I watched a documentary last night about youth homelessness in Australia and there was an online forum at the end. Predictably, there were the people on there saying "what can we do about this?" as if 220,000 homeless people are all in the one basket. It's a way of being able to distance ourselves from messy life, too, if we can bang labels on people and put them on a particular track so we know where they are.

Real life is so much messier ... and so much better!!!! :) The difference between the two paths just doesn't ever lose its sheen. The scond messy path is just so alive!

Kent said...

It is such a challenge to help children not fall into the traps of conformist thought along with being the kind of parents that will do the hard messy work of actually not falling into the same patterns that society uses.

Conflict is not resolved through the removal of the conflict by way of threat of punishment or separation. Getting along and not killing each other is not necessarily loving one another.

This is all societies know how to do. I long for and am shooting for something Wholly Other.

Sue said...

Wheee!!! Can I come too?

Kent said...

sure Sue, the more the merrier.

It is with stuff like this that Brueggemann's book The Prophetic Imagination was so challenging and inspiring. If our minds have been so co-opted by the surrounding culture and how it attempts to dictate to us how we must do things we will never even consider that there is any other option than "conform or we will make it very painful and difficult for you."

Too much of Christianity in Western culture seems to play the same game that the society it resides in plays.

I also appreciate Jacques Ellul and all he has had to say along these lines. This quote comes to mind:

"When stability (uniformity) is acheived, there is no more harmony."

Sue said...

I must confess, because I have asked "Why?" from the year dot, I don't understand how people can just go through life not questioning the things around them. Perhaps it is something to do with my background, perhaps I felt I needed to suss out what was going on out of an inherent feeling of lack of safety (possible) or maybe I'm just ridiculously curious (definite) but I DON'T GET IT!!!

Anyways ... :)

That Ellul quote is excellent.