Sunday 17 May 2009

Thought Picnic: Accept my choices or lose your voices

A message without a practical purpose

The fights, the abuses, the physical violence in the name of discipline, the histrionics of which the detail cannot be revealed all wrapped up in the history of child development and parental adjustment or maybe parental development and child adjustment.

Many years ago, the message of the Messiah swept through campuses and before you knew it, they were caught on the message but not necessarily the messenger or its purpose but they were naïve and they thought they had found the truth.

The fact is, most of the time the purveyors of this message never looked at the life application parts of the making the message practical, they prayed prayers that never got answered and tried to move mountains that were the load-bearing walls of the world – indeed, they could move mountains but what if the world collapsed upon them?

It all made sense and really their lack of understanding made it all nonsense, not the message but the appreciation of the message.

The wrath of the parents

Then their parents found out, warnings followed threats, the withdrawal of support, the power of persuasion through the fear of the loss of support, physical violence predicated on beating the hell out of you – they already had the hell out of them by reason of their accepting religion, one would have thought.

The parents had other experiences, the taking up of religion seemed to have distracted once promising and ambitious people from their purpose and this new belief system made no allowances for having a balanced structure of life and faith.

They would eventually learn that time for deity does not necessarily equate to time in the religious house of worship, endless vigils, loud prayers and gesticulations not far off those of the prophets of Baal when they pitted against Elijah – Maybe you should scream louder, he taunted them – quoting from the Book with every sense of knowledge without accompanying wisdom – this world needs to be lived in successfully; if I might add, relationships need to be built and cultivated, character needs to be strengthened and our intellect is there for the purpose of stimulation.

Unfortunately, the religious landscape is still littered with fanatics rather than scholars, followers of religious celebrities rather than a collegiate of knowledge experts, people looking to be entertained with the spectacular rather than ones who are vessels of power and wonder – it has not changed, it has gotten worse.

The first ambush

Back to the parent-child dichotomy, beyond all that is the ambush – the ambush involves getting every respected, reverenced and feared personality in the purvey of the parents to prevail on the child.

With mock encouragement, inducements, bribes and more serious threats, the child is caught between the polarities of dogged stubbornness as a sign of fervent faith and apostasy as a sign of respecting and honouring ones parents – it should never have been that stark a choice with accommodation on both sides, but we all had been poorly schooled – the threats continue as the parents still unrelenting do the unspeakable and the child is scarred with the unmentionable.

The new ambush

That hell has passed and they have moved on the parents having accepted that the child would really do what it has determined to do and somehow in all the fuzziness of the chaotic moments a quarter of a century ago something has blossomed – the child has not become a social misfit as the mother once said, nor is the child amounting to nothing as the father did say.

New battles have started and it is now all troops on a warpath – the child has not "matured" in their eyes because vows have not been taken, the child is not "responsible" because it has no responsibilities of rearing a brood of childlins – the parents are angst ridden, wily, intrusive and have basically reverted to type; bludgeoning the kid with their desires.

At a time when great celebrations are to be had, when the presence of the child at such great occasions would be welcome, the child wonders and resolves that this time – accept my choices or lose your voices in my affairs.

This great occasion offers the opportunity for an ambush – do I want to walk into this one – I think not. The thinking continues somewhere else in the vast cathedral of the mind.

Note: I had planned to call this The Ambush but as I poured out my thoughts the new title as a Thought Picnic seems the most suitable.

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