Real World Disconnect

Some people would say that we are more connected to the world than ever, but I wonder if this is really true. I heard a statistic this week that suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens. That tragic information made me pause. Why would teens, in a world full of options, choose to end their lives?

What are kids connected to? Or disconnected from? They are connected to the vast information web, they are connected to sound bytes, superficial relationships built on Facebook and Twitter, they are connected to pictures, images, and sounds, but too often, they’re disconnected to what is happening right in front of them.

What actually feeds us—spiritually and physically?  “You shall be known by your fruit….” I do not get fed by social media interactions. Even e-mail has its limitations. It’s not to say that these technological innovations don’t have their purpose and value. But it is to ask: “What are we crowding out when we engage in them to the exclusion of other forms of human communication and interaction?”

When I took my kids to the lake yesterday and they ran around watching the geese and ducks, sat and enjoyed the sun setting over the water, and played tag down a wooded path, they engaged in a real-world reality check. They absorbed a truth which cannot be improved upon. Joy and health seeped into their beings.

When I go outside and work in the garden, when I take a walk down a country road, when I sit and chat face-to-face with someone, even a stranger, I engage in a real-world reality that cannot be replaced by any technological gadget.

I wonder if that is why some television programs have become so weird. They are reflecting that absence, that disconnect, that xeroxed print, which has been copied too often and become anemic and a little warped in the process.

Perhaps what our teens need is a little more time with natural reality, not “reality” shows. Perhaps what some writers need is to reflect human beings and our real world, and not slapstick, word-bytes meant to get a laugh or jerk a tear.

Perhaps, reality isn’t meant to lead to suicide.

~~~

Mortality Among Teenagers Aged 12-19 Years: United States, 1999-2006. (2010). Retrieved February 20, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db37.htm

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00

Heroes’ Quest

In my never-ending quest for heroes or heroines, I am joyfully surprised when God keeps putting inspiring, life-changing stories in my path.

Here’s another report from Columbia magazine, January 2016.  It is a story of Kathleen Bravo, who after experiencing some very dark days, entered a new phase of her life when she took over and rebranded a nonprofit organization, naming it  Obria Medical Clinics. She has since touched the lives of many thousands of women and saved the lives of over six thousand babies. In the Columbia Magazine article, he states: “Our main goal is to meet a woman where she is – that is Mother Teresa’s approach.” And later, she says: “Don’t limit the Holy Spirit.”  (p.8-9)

I love to absorb the stories of men and women who accept the risk of caring for our fellow human beings even when life is hard, the past has been disappointing, and the future looks questionable.

The question for us each day is not, “Do I have a choice?” since we always have a choice. The question is what price are we willing to pay for our choices? Men and women who choose to fight for the good of others, despite the challenges of misunderstanding and outright discrimination, are real heroes.

My choice?  I choose to focus on the best of humanity, what draws us together and makes us proud of our race.  Who knows, but we may not be alone in this universe.  How would another race view us?

If we don’t value the most vulnerable among us…will anyone?

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00

Life in Lent

I have noticed a definite trend as I move through the homeschool week.

On Monday morning, I am speaking in active sentences packed with spelling words, circulating around the room, radiating energy and enthusiasm as I multi-task to my heart’s content.

On Tuesday, I am still circulating, albeit a little slower, my sentences are a bit shorter, more to the point, there’s a tad less spark to my demeanor.

On Wednesday, I’m still moving but rather jerkily; my sentences no longer bear any resemblance to the week’s lessons, as a matter of fact, I am struggling to remember what language I speak.

By Thursday, I’m sitting in my chair as I ply through the texts, gesturing for the kids to come to me and explain what’s happening in history, writing, science, math, and whatever else I dare to teach.

By Friday, a grunt, a gesture, a sticker, and we’re good to go.

Well, it’s not quite that bad… But the trend from energetic to slow motion is real enough. So is the brain-drain. I suspect that as coffee drinkers hooked on the whole concept of fast and effective, we tend to give ourselves little space to be anything but perfectly attuned to the nuances of constant multi-tasking. Yet, is that real? Are we real? What happens by the end of the week is reflected in what is happening inside of us as we attempt to be what we are not.

No one is perfect. No one can be “up” all the time. No one is beautiful every minute of the day. We get tired. We get exhausted. We get messy. To be honest, I think our whole nation is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. We try so hard to be up and energetic, beautiful and cool. Yet, we have been tucking our problems out of the way: debt, family breakdown, cultural divisions, spiritual emptiness.

Next week, Ash Wednesday kicks off the start of Lent. Some might think that this is simply another task to put on the to-do list. But on the contrary, it is really a call to freedom. “Remember, Man, from dust you came to dust you shall return.” In our Lenten reflection, we actually become free to take a little “down time” to think about who we are and where we are going. We may not be effective and efficient for six weeks, but consider this as our “fast” for the duration. We can offer up our never-ending multi-tasking schedule and spend some time thinking about who we are and why we are alive. Life in Lent can be a soul-nurturing event.

Maybe by Easter, we’ll feel reborn. Well, after all, that’s kinda the point…

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00