Friday, April 06, 2007

I Think, Therefore I Am

My brother told me about a conversation he entered at his college class this week:

"Who likes to think?" said a classmate.

Stunned, my brother answered, "I do."

And then he thought, and I thought the same when he was telling me: What do you do if you don't think? How do you spend your time?

The friend continued, "I would like to be a dog. Others take care of me, and I just live."

Just live. How incredible! How could you "just live" without thinking? Why bother?

Yet I believe this is a great problem with the culture in America today: not only do people not think; they don't want to! People in their twenties are content to do nothing, think nothing, and let life lap around them. If anything is done, it is for fun or absolute necessity.

How did they get that way? There are probably many reasons. Another that arose in conversation in my house today was the rise of autism. It directly coordinates with the rise of time spent watching television as a child. Some even argue that autism can be cured by turning off the TV and engaging the child in a relational and interactive way. As long as people are content to stare blankly and unresponsively at a television, entertainment being simply fed to them, they will never learn to think or be relational.

When I watch TV, I interact. I think what I would do, or why the characters are doing what they do. My family talks during TV (as much as we can get away with without annoying each other), sharing the experience. If the television is on for extended periods of time I start to get lethargic and irritated. After all, it is hard to engage with a screen for too long.

In the old days before TV or radio, humans entertained themselves by playing games or reading books, even aloud to each other. They conversed. Their activity was interactive and thoughtful. Even Winnie the Pooh, a stuffed bear from a children's book is portrayed as think-think-thinking. Hm.

To God be all glory.

1 comment:

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Good post, Lisa. I often wonder the same thing. Why don't people just use their brains anymore? It frustrates me.