Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dying of Thirst Next to a River

Kentucky -- Recently when in Tennessee, I was speaking with a 17 year old young man of normal mental capacity who has a job and has had average public schooling opportunities with what he called “average” grades. I mentioned the American Revolution. Quite seriously, he said he believed he may have heard of that war before. “That was something that happened like 100 years ago or something right? Yeah, I hate history.” I guess he does.
In old Indian cultures, one way that a captive would be put to death by torture was to tie him up and leave him at the edge of a lake. They would leave him tied up, and let him die of thirst.
In America, we have at our finger tips more information than we can handle. In our libraries, in our museums, and of course on the internet. One can find out almost anything about anything simply by looking it up. I understand that the method of making an atom-bomb is public knowledge for anyone who wants it.
However, we know almost nothing. We are dying of ignorance on the banks of a vast sea of knowledge, and our hands are not even tied.
On a popular television show the host asked the guest a question about a country in Europe, the reply: “I thought Europe was a country.”
There is a lot of dullness going around. One does not have to be brilliant to figure out that even basic ingenuity is not as highly advanced and appreciated as once it was.
We have stopped thinking and reasoning. We do not sit down with the evening news and logically think out what is true and what is false, we rarely even question it. We are intellectually lazy. We want to be spoon fed our information, if we do not get all of the facts about it from the documentary and then the Wikipedia articles then we forget about it. We forget what we did learn too.
It is a dangerous habit. It is impossible to wage a war without having a clue about what is going on around you. What you don’t know can kill you.
Andrew C. Abbott

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks; your words are always healthily challenging. That young man's comment on history sparks a comment of my own.

    I think one of the primary reasons history is widely despised is the way it is taught, as an old curiosity. It is dismissed as outdated because the perspective of the evolutionary ascension of Man treats the past as, though necessary, contemptibly inferior stepping-stones to the glories of Today. It is a faded, musty antique.

    That perspective was a temptation to me when I was younger, and I turned toward a love of history when I saw history as a running plot of Christ's advancing kingdom and a resource of lessons in the unchanging natures of Man and his God.

    Only one field of study outweighs the importance of history: the law of God by which history is made understandable and relevant. When there is a crucial part of history I have missed, it is (I pray) exchanged for time spent studying God's word. But then again, God's word is a form of history, eternal truths revealed in the past to guide the present.