Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"The Giver" and Spiritual Poverty

Have any of you ever read The Giver, written in 1993 by Lois Lowry? I've read it. More than once. If you haven't read it, perhaps you should, before reading my post here so I don't spoil it for you.

The story is about a twelve year old boy named Jonas, who lives in a world that is controlled to perfection, at least, that's what the society in Jonas's world believes. Their idea of a kind of "utopia," includes mass murder of the elderly, adults, children, babies...all under the guise of coining the term for someone who has been murdered, as one who was just "released."

They lie continually, seem to have no conscience...can't see color...they rarely feel pain...and they don't go so far as to Love anyone, it's just, "too strong" a feeling. They appoint one man, named the Giver, out of the entire population, to hold all the pain, misery, and memories of the past...consequently, this man is also the only one who can see in color, and holds true joy, love, and wisdom.

I won't give away more of the story, but, though this was written as a fiction novel...doesn't something seem quite nonfiction about it? I remember being shocked when I first read it about the age of 12; just completely appalled at the story. And what shocks me now isn't a story, but the fact that many details of this book currently play out in real life today; and what's more, sadly, have been for quite some time.

Here's an example. It was my brothers birthday today, and so, my family decided to go see a movie in the theatre, something we rarely do. I think the last time I saw a film in theatres was about a year ago. And I wasn't too keen on going to this one, but I consented. We went to see "Shorts." A film about a crazy community that developed this machine called the "black box" that was any kind of gadget you could think of; cell phone, computer, shaver, toaster, anything. Then, it's upstaged by a magic wishing rock. I think they tried to show a good moral at the end, but surreptitiously failed in my opinion. They even named one of the little girls, "hellvetica" and she had this evil theme song that followed her throughout the film. The movie was not worth it.

But anyway, getting back on track...the whole experience kind of shocked me. Before the movie began, they're showing commercial after commercial - kids in designer clothes who decide to play music and start a fashion show in the school cafeteria - etc. The whole time the speakers are so loud you feel like your going deaf. Then the movie plays - and you get sucked into the story. Finally at the end, you wake up like a zombie. Walking back out to your car. And we pay for this?? Subject our kids to stuff like this? (i.e. especially certain movie content? - Shorts, a PG film...do they even make G movies anymore? - can't remember the last time I saw a film rated that in a theatre).

So then, after the film, we head to a store to pick up a few things before going home. And, it's like, man, is everyone still in zombie mode? I mean, the people. Consequently, this is an ongoing phenomena in the US. It's like people are AFRAID... to even look one another in the eye when they pass by! I walk through the store, and it's like everyone coldly stares straight ahead, in their own world. It's like we have individualized "utopias," and we think we're safe inside them. What are we afraid of?

You know, technology is great. But what has it gotten us in America? Materialism, Materialism, Materialism. DVD's, Cd's, I-pods, Mp3's, TV, laptops, cell phones, Blackberries, GPS, Texting...mostly designed to "keep in contact" with eachother. In my opinoin, they tend to do the opposite. And here I am, blogging. Perpetuating the cycle.

The scariest thing, too, is we don't even realize what's happening. Many people are so absorbed into things, and themselves. A lot of people have no morals. They literally can't tell between right and wrong. Case in point, since when did we think it ok to kill a little baby in America, or anywhere? Because that's exactly what abortion is, it's killing. Abortion, the cover-word for infanticide. The term which is even more disguised as "family planning" by certain government officials.

Here is wikipedia's definition of "Infanticide," fyi.
Infanticide is the practice of someone intentionally causing the death of an infant. Often it is the mother who commits the act, but criminology recognizes various forms of non-maternal child murder. In many past societies, certain forms of infanticide were considered permissible. Female infanticide is more common than the killing of male offspring due to sex-selective infanticide. In the United Kingdom, the Infanticide Act defines "infanticide" as a specific crime equivalent to manslaughter that can only be committed by the mother intentionally killing her own baby during the first twelve months of its life; in other cultures, the concept of infanticide includes the intentional killing of children older than twelve months. This article addresses the practice of infanticide within multiple cultural and historical contexts.

Doesn't this seem horribly ironic? Why can't we recognize Infanticide in aboriton? It's the same thing!

Aside from everything this country has...we're really quite poor. And what Mother Theresa once said about our country hits the mark on a lot of what I've been saying.

"Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."
"The poorest country in the world is one which does not protect its own children."

Yet, there is a way out! We don't have to remain spiritually poor. When will the majority of America wake up and realize what seems that only the minority knows? That we have something better than the Giver in Lois Lowry's book.

That we have Christ Jesus.

So spread the word.

1 comment:

  1. I read the Giver a long long time ago so can't comment too much on that, but I agree with the whole movies, technology thing. I use a computer 40 hours a week for my job so it's especially important that when I'm done working for the day, I try not to get on the computer.

    There's nothing that beats face-to-face interaction with friends, family, etc.

    I think, also, these things tend to be excuses for people. I know people (who I will not name here) who think that because they talk with me on the phone, that's okay. They don't need to visit me (or me visit them), etc.

    Technology does make you feel like a zombie. People need people interaction! We need to feel and engage with each other.

    Thanks for the great post, Christina!