Thursday, August 08, 2013

Thursday thought: Barbarism

The sunflower (pictured at left) is in my back yard. It sprouted underneath my apple tree, probably planted by a bird that took refuge in the branches.  Because of its stubborn insistence to grow where it could not thrive, it spends much of the day shut tight to the daylight, thinking it is night. What a perfect picture of our culture.

Years ago, when my eldest was in college, an English professor of his pointed out to the class that the rise in tatoos and strange-colored hair was just a small sign of our culture's return to barbarism.  The class, to prove that they were victims of their culture, arrived at class en masse the next day with blue hair and henna tatoos. While I now laugh at this rather ingenious prank, I think the professor was prescient in his assessment. Barbarians are all around us, and sometimes we are them. We rush through our lives consuming, following the latest trend or tweet, and often never stopping to ask why.  We just follow the herd. We ignore that many around us have no notion of beauty or goodness or truth, justice, liberty, or equality.  And as old Socrates said long ago, the unexamined life is not worth living. 

Western civilization chooses to live in the slums of ignorance while the great mansion of our cultural heritage crumbles into dust.  We keep adding new subjects in our schools, but never understand that without a moral foundation, whatever we build cannot stand for long. We prize animals over babies, noise over music, static over content. I wonder what kind of culture our grandchildren will live in, Gentle Reader.  And I pray our heavenly Father will show mercy and bring revival.


Randy Greenwald said...

Your professor's observations may be an example of drawing an accurate conclusion from faulty premises. We are always able to observe social decline in what we see in others and not by what we see in ourselves. Perhaps tattoos and piercings. Perhaps. But perhaps football. Perhaps the wedding of Christianity and blind nationalism. Perhaps those things, or others, blind to me, are signs. But to point to those choices OTHERS make is to isolate them and to cause some to tend to see those who make those choices as the problem, "dear blogger".

MagistraCarminum said...

Good point, Randy. And to be fair, I only chose the part of the lecture I could make a hopefully witty use of here. His talk was much more inclusive than tatoos and hair color...