One hundred years ago, some women in Great Britain finally began to receive the right to vote. It was the beginning in changes in law and society that would allow women rights in the home and family, over property, and over their own bodies. It would lead to societal changes that would prioritise better healthcare for families, consider safety and justice at work, it would change ancient cultural expectations, valuing girl children towards the point of equality, and would gradually open up the old clubs of education and careers to people of each gender and a wider social background.
No longer would it be legally acceptable to regard one’s wife and daughters, and stray female relatives, as possessions rather than people in their own right – and right up to the present day, as more and more people find a voice, it continues to surprise different groups in society that a lot of things that human beings have put up with for a long time, are not really okay from where they have been standing.
Prejudice is prejudice, ‘pre-judgement’… judgement without prior evidence; no matter how culturally broad or how long its been around, and it’s never helpful, even nice big old-fashioned pigeonholes are still pigeonholes, whilst each soul is unique, and it is up to parents and the wider community and society to try to help each new soul uncover their abilities in a way that can sooner or later integrate productively on some level with their fellow human beings, and to encourage them to discover and hone skills and gifts, some which in each generation will be totally new to the society and culture in which they arise.
But when I read the news and look around, that’s not what I see or hear. I see young people who appear to deposit and grow their identity online, more concerned with other people’s judgements than ever, and due to the nature of the platform and the way they initially engage with it (like a baby waving at itself in a mirror), more often wrapped up in outward showand forgetful of their soul – it can’t be instagrammed.
As for the parents who didn’t know or realise they ought to start trying to find out what makes their youngsters tick until they found them annoying and didn’t know why… it’s a tragedy.
At home, in front of shiny bright mirrors, not families so much as crowds of lonely strangers, desperate for kinship search hopelessly for something they cannot find, cannot see or capture in pixels… obsessed and lost as Narcissus, unhappy and restless as the Minotaur, they look into the little pools endlessly, at their own and other people’s reflections, listen to their own and other people’s echoes. Alone.
But it is NOT GOOD for mankind to be alone.
That is what it says in Genesis and it is right – there is nothing about boy meets girl in the Hebrew of the creation story, it is all about Adamah and Chavvah… Humanity… only a half-being when we are alone, and Chavvah – Life… life only beginning when we are together. That is what those names translate as – Adamah = humanity, earthman; and Chavvah (transliterated in English as Eve)= Life. Humanity has no Life alone.
A generation is dying, pining away in front of these false images we have made for ourselves, of ourselves, avatars that have no power – is it any wonder that some dreamers try to bring their violent gods to life with plans taken from a dreamworld… they, like everyone else, are searching for something real. And all the while, the real connections we have won – families, communities, societies, groups, teams, clubs and committees, parties and governments, are dwindling away – the strength of so many people sapped by the endless demands of the screen gods, the worship we seek for ourselves in ‘likes’, ‘retweets’ and ‘follows’, and they are so HUNGRY.
They will not allow the children to grow up relatively unscathed and fall in love, they want their flesh onscreen before they even know shame or regret. They will not wait for a ballad from the artist as the muse strikes- they’d rather have a hasty limerick NOW. They won’t wait for a carefully thought-out policy, they’d rather have an answer in the form of a soundbite NOW, and hang the knock-on effects. And what the modern Milcom and Molek like best, is lies… lies with fancy pictures.
We are feeding the modern monsters with our own selves – and we are becoming less and less for it instead of growing communities, growing deeper roots and growing our souls. Can we save the coming generation from the sickness of unreality and disconnect that is consuming our societies? Or must we wait until the supply of household gods (that is not a typo) dries up – and people start to realise that they need to find true bread for their hunger? And to do so together.