Where Have Our Minds Gone?

Do you Stumble?  I do.

Here is how it works:

I check off several things that I am interested in.  After that, there is a magical button I push.  When I push the magical button, I am whisked away to a page of a website that interests me.  When it no longer interests me, I push the magical button, and off I go to another interesting page.

This goes on for hours.

I don’t think for hours.

Which got me thinking: what else have we allowed to run our lives?  In which areas have we sacrificed our minds and crucial, self-preserving thought because we think that something else is credible enough to take its place?  Over the next few days I noticed several things:

1) The MPAA Rating System

That’s the Motion Picture Association of America’s determination of what material is suitable for which age groups depending on whether a parent/guardian/someone old enough to buy the ticket ought to be with them.  I constantly hear people shocked that the “F” word was allowed in that PG-13 movie.  Well, the rule from the MPAA goes like this:

There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence. A motion picture’s single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context.  –The MPAA

You can read the other rules here: http://mpaa.org/ratings/what-each-rating-means

The problem is this: we have allowed an association (a group of parents, actually) to determine what the majority of parents would consider an acceptable rating.

The bigger problem is this: some other group of people is taking over the responsibility of caution, protection, and THOUGHT for us, and we are letting them.

Now, I am TOTALLY cool with a group of people getting together and offering up its view of moral/immoral words/actions/situations in movies.  Great guideline to get me started and to get people aware.  Nothing wrong with the group: something totally wrong with forgetting to think for myself.

2) Public Education

I like teachers.  I like education.  Both truly are essential and wonderful.  I disagree that Education is a right that ought to be afforded/forced on every child and family and paid for by all, and therefore I think public education is problematic.  Private education is where its at–if you want a product, either create it (home school) or pay for it (private school).  I don’t want to pay for your kids to go to school, and I don’t expect you to pay for mine.

I heard a news story that I shared in my last entry about a $57,000 field trip for around 5,000 male students to get on buses and go to a movie theater to watch Red Tails.

Ludicrous.

But what I heard next on the radio show I was listening to was especially funny.  The female co-host began to criticize the movie theater for not offering discounted or free tickets to the school district.

So now the School Districts have risen above responsibility and accountability.  This lady, who pays taxes herself (I assume), could not bring herself to the simple realization that the SCHOOL DISTRICT WAS TO BLAME.

Here is another problem similar to that of the MPAA.  Have we grown to trust any school system, public or private, so much that we don’t question them?  Since my days in public school, I have found so many things that were taught to be misguided, misleading, twisted, or completely false.  What’s worse is that the wrong information didn’t just come from teachers (who are human, after all)–it came from TEXTBOOKS!!

What are our children learning?  Is it correct?  Is it right?  Is it ethical?

We can’t expect the School System to be responsible.  It falls into our hands to take caution, to care, to THINK.

3) Voting

Well…a lot of people don’t even do it, which means they have sacrificed that right to someone else, which means they have sacrificed pretty much everything that our nation was founded on.

The people that are involved seem to get their information from odd places.  The news media is funny, here.  Do you believe them?  For real?

I don’t want to go into it much, here, but do you know what you believe about your rights, the government’s role, and our nation?  Where did you get that information from?

4) Religion and Spirituality

Many give this up early–I do what my parents did…or the opposite: I will do the opposite of what my parents did.  Hopefully one day those folks will realize that either way is allowing your parents to determine your faith.

No man on earth can answer for your beliefs.  Every man must have and answer for his own beliefs.

Do you know why you believe what you believe?

Do your beliefs really make any sense–especially when compared with your actions?

Have your parents, some preacher, a priest, a book written by some guy, or just some collection of thoughts from other people been your guide to spirituality and religion–or have you actually gone to find the answers for yourself?

You must never sacrifice your God-given right to property.  That property includes first, and foremost, your self.  Your self IS your mind.  Use it here most of all.

5) Character

Why do you act like that?

I often worry that my character is merely a conglomeration of personalities–reflecting the million other people that I have come into contact with.  At some point in my life I reacted to that by being NOTHING like the other million people I had met.  Both situations represent the same lack of thought:  I was acting based on what other people demanded and thought.

Think about who you are.  Think about what you believe.  Think about how you will live.

Think…and then stand.

And then walk.

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2 thoughts on “Where Have Our Minds Gone?

  1. As it relates to voting, do you think *not* casting a vote necessarily betrays all upon which our nation was founded? Put another way, I am a voter in TX. By the time the primaries come to our state, the candidate representing one of only 2 parties on the ballot is pretty much determined. So in the General Election, I’m left with, most of the time, having to choose between the lessor of two horrible choices. In truth, I could cast a write-in vote and sleep better at night. But I think I could just as well not cast a ballot and have the same clean conscience. (I’m speaking hypothetically as I’ve never missed an election since I was legally able to vote.) But more than 3/4 of the ballot usually has candidates I’ve never heard of, running for offices I’ve never heard of, and a lot of times, they are running unopposed.

    I submit that the crucial work in keeping government accountable and exercising our freedom is keeping vigilant communication with your elected officials on individual matters of legislation. Even if the masses elect someone I opposed, that official is supposed to still consider my voice. If I really felt strongly about a new proposed law, I could organize local citizens to call / write our elected officials to vote the way we wanted.

    • I definitely think that not voting can fall within the parameters of using your mind as long as it is a choice as you put it. I actually thought about including that thought.

      In fact, I would seriously discourage voting for the “lesser of two evils.” Part of what I was hoping to accomplish was the opposite: never vote for ANYthing that you don’t believe in.

      Totally agree with you, Tim.

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