Holiday musings

So Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is coming and I just can’t wait for all of this to be done.  Dad and I survived our first Thanksgiving without Mom.  We went to my Aunt Carolyn’s for Thanksgiving.  I helped prepare the food with her which helped me deal with all those messy emotions.  I only cried once, while making the dressing.  Dad sat in the recliner.  He was quiet and withdrawn.  He is very lonely.  It didn’t help that Brinkley chewed Dad’s left hearing aid Wednesday morning.  Brinkley was a brat the entire time Dad visited.  Brinkley LOVES Papa.  The hearing aid costs $2500.00.  That’s $2500.00 I don’t have.  Thank God that Dad has insurance on his hearing aids and it covers it becoming a chew toy.  Evidently, a dog chewing hearing aids is not that uncommon.

There were 15 of us at the gathering.  Two were small children and the rest were adults.  The 4 oldest members of the group were the only ones NOT engaged in electronic devices.  I thought about my students and the faculty discussions on the use of electronic devices in the class room.  Its Thanksgiving Day…family time…and these people can’t get off their toys long enough to engage with family.  We shared “apps” and which books we liked on Kindle but we didn’t discuss issues.  I remember the long discussions on theological issues or political issues.  These times were important in forming my abilities to understand the larger picture, to think critically and to defend my beliefs. My maternal grandfather delighted in playing devil’s advocate and frustrating me into either anger or tears.  During these times I learned hermeneutics, history, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, tenses of verbs and basic biblical interpretations.  The women were just as deep in theological discussions as the men.  I was 10 before I understood that theology and football were two very different things.  I am pretty sure that theology and food are basically two sides of the same coin.

My niece, nephew, and younger cousins are ignorant on so many levels.  My students are ignorant on those same levels.  One reason they don’t engage in the classroom is that they are too busy engaging on their devices and not with people. They are not engaged with their peers, elders, or other living things.  Electronics have their uses and I enjoy utilizing the devices HOWEVER, we need the human interaction to provide context for our lives and foundations for our society.  Yes, yes, I know this is odd coming from the introvert, yet even I understand that human interactions lead to a more productive society and, hopefully, a more peaceful society.

“[1] For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” Eccl. 3.

Engage the world face to face…it is an interesting place.

—jcc

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Catherine Cone

Professor of Biology at East Texas Baptist University

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