Creative Thinking : Driving with an iPad

Elsa Franco Al Ghaslan

Published — Friday 28 December 2012

Last update 28 December 2012 12:11 am

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I saw a man holding (and looking at) an iPad while driving his car. Was I dreaming? I wish I were but, unfortunately, I was not. At this point, I fervently hope that automatically driven automobiles will become available as soon as possible for everybody to use. I read that prototypes have already been tested. They are also said to be safer than the cars driven by human beings. I do not doubt it a bit, seeing what I witness every day, stuff that makes me wonder about some people’s capacity to think in a proper, logical, sensible way. Too many types of “wrong” behavior have become commonplace, bad things happen that almost no one even notices any more. It appears that mankind is starting to accept them as normal, even as “acceptable”. Sorry, this is not right!
Author Anthony de Mello, SJ wrote that wolves keep remaining wolves even if they gather in a pack of a thousand, and therefore they will always behave in the wild and dangerous way proper to wolves’ nature. Similarly, if one thousand or even one million individuals commit acts that are materially or morally reproachable, such acts cannot be condoned or endured. What is wrong is wrong and it does not matter how many preach “freedom” of…practically everything. Let us imagine a possible scenario, in case such idea is left “free” to proceed on the same path, to grow and transform itself, as most ideas do.
Today you accept that A speaks evil of B. Tomorrow you accept that A hits B. After tomorrow you just raise your brows when you hear that A shot B. When finally A actually kills B, you might shrug your shoulders and think, “Well, many do the same.” Impossible, you say? Improbable, maybe. Impossible, absolutely not. So many ugly things are accepted today as permissible while — up to a few years ago — they would have never been allowed to be publicly displayed for everybody to see and hear.
Those who enjoy “ugly” or immoral stuff have always existed and have always found a way to feed their appetites. Good for them. Aren’t they “free”? Yes, they are, provided they don’t impose their tastes on others. For these “others”, in the past it was enough to avoid putting themselves in particular situations (watching certain movies, videos, reading a particular type of publications etc.) to be spared. Is this still possible nowadays? Absolutely not.
Now the stories that you don’t want to hear, the images that you don’t want to see are continuously shoved under your nose any time you go to the movies, you switch the TV on, you flip through the pages of a magazine. What to do, then? Stop going to the movies, watching TV, looking at commercials, reading magazines, even listening to the news? Yes, we could do that, and many are already doing it. But… can you honestly say that this is fair? Is this “freedom” for the “others”?
Excessive tolerance has caused an excessive decadence in customs and behavior. Corruption has always existed but, as keeping talking about your aches increases the pain you feel, exalting extreme freedom of behavior only heightens the curiosity and the desire to try the forbidden or the simply “wrong” stuff. Florence Renaissance preacher and reformer Gerolamo Savonarola (1452-1498) was burned at the stakes because of his strong statements against the depravity of his times. Therefore, may I possibly be ostracized for some things I write, such as this? But all the “ugly junk” I keep seeing and hearing about – far too often – pushes me to suggest to you the idea that, maybe, such topics are really worthy of serious consideration, in case you have the future of your world, and of your children’s world, at heart.

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