Man: From Cave to Cave

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Thoughtful thinking.

The power went out the other day when we driving back from church for absolutely no reason at all. Well, I’m sure there was, but that is irrelevant. The fact was that the power was out for at least a few blocks radius around our newly darkened house and that when we got home there was going to be absolutely nothing to do. Seriously. Nothing.

The excitement of a large-scale power outage lasts only as long until one realizes they can’t “tweet/status update” about it. Nor can they call anybody to ask what is going on, watch TV to get the latest scoop, or google their area to find an answer for the madness. My brain kept trying to process how to get some sort of information on the current situation but every time I thought of something it involved electricity and technology, the two things that seemed to be out of operation.

Ok, plan B. This is getting dangerous. One can only stay un-entertained for so long before one goes into something called American Boredom Stress Shock where not having enough or anything to do actually stresses one out more so than having too much to do and will melt the outer layers of the brain. Realizing our immediate need for immersion into something of our liking, me and my brother reveled in the fact that while we needed electricity to play guitar, our new drum set didn’t share such a disadvantage. Our hopes were immediately dashed as we entered the garage and instinctively flicked the light switch expecting the magical luminescence to light the way to our drum set tucked in the corner of the garage. Well, it didn’t. And playing drums with one’s garage door open in a suburban neighborhood is equal to smashing gold-leaf mailboxes. You just don’t do it. It was funny how we expected the light to be there even without the power. Like it doesn’t come from earth but from a fairy-land unbeknown to us that we have somehow managed to tap into. Regardless, the drum set would not see any playing that night.

Plan C! Quick! I can feel it coming!! Out the door we went again. Only this time to the sanctuary of our car where we were going to travel to the nearest Starbucks to grab a cup of their celestial-priced, heavenly goodness to wait out the EMP strike over our dwelling. If there world were ever to suddenly end, Starbucks would have the best business on the planet. With android tablet in hand, the promise of wi-fi, fluorescent lighting, and a decent cup of coffee the horrible disease could be fended off for at least a couple of hours before we would have to do something else different and exciting. But when we walked out our door, we saw something that we haven’t seen in a while. There were people outside. Walking, sitting, talking, and conversing. The power outage had brought people out of their homes to a beautiful Monday evening and some of them were looking as if they’d seen daylight for the very first time.

It was like the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. Pale, skinny people living underground for years to escape the nuclear winters, radiation poisoning and afflicted mutated monsters emerged from the thick, steel, vault door for the first time in ages and stretch their hands over their head in the warmth of the last few rays of sunlight and the cool of an evening breeze. Finally seeing what they’ve been missing this whole time, they swear never to go back and close their eyes as the air brushes past their faces. At least, this is what I saw as I walked to my car and hopped in along with my brother who was feeling the same way and we joked about it as we pulled out.

But just as we were about to leave our neighborhood we observed that the lights had come back on. Whoever was in charge of whatever went out had brought the electricity back much quicker than we expected! Huzzah! I was a little disappointed though. I REALLY like Starbucks but HATE paying for it, however, this gave me (in my mind) a legitimate excuse to splurge. But back home we went and simply took the long way around for about a mile before the road winds back to our house. This is where it gets good.

In that one mile of road everyone disappeared. Like rats from sunlight, the instant the electricity was back in operation people crawled into their reclusive holes. Me and my brother looked at each other with amazement. Unbelievable. A moment before they were awing about how wonderful of a day it was outside but the next they abandon it back to their flickering screens in their caves. We did the same thing. What a shame. The lure of the familiar is too much to resist and we throw away the simple, pure beauty of God’s creation for the drama of our favorite TV show, or the latest news on facebook.

We have locked ourselves away in our homes behind our safe walls and instead of meeting with people face to face, we broadcast “ourselves” from afar. Being able to pick and choose to an extent what people know about us is our biggest problem. Nothing is real anymore. People have to assume more about you. The less you know about someone, the more you have to fill in to connect the dots between their behavior even if it is only your false assumptions. We call these rumors. Honesty cannot be seen over a social network. Because I believe that honesty is not seen, it’s felt. The shallow, rose-colored post we read on our favorite networking site is not a relationship. It’s a compromise. Not always bad, only if always done.

Technology is great! I love it! But I believe that it has ironically made a full circle in the way we communicate and act with one another. It’s not technology we have to blame for our impersonality either, it’s us. Perhaps this is just a phase as we try to adjust to the rapid technology changes and eventually we’ll catch up with ourselves and start doing things in moderation. But I’m not holding my breath. Love one another with all you have and hold on to the relationships that you know are rooted in real character and not your facebook/twitter/youtube/myspace/whatever profile. Those are the ones that will last you a lifetime and not fail when the power goes out.

  1. Joshua says:

    I’ve nothing to say on the content here, but the title of this post made me think of Plato’s Cave. Could they be related?

    • I think that this is possibly man exiting the cave, traveling around the world through hardships and gaining knowledge and arriving back at the mouth of his old abode. Then discovering that the cave is what he really missed all along.

      How absurd.

  2. Joshua says:

    or perhaps a Playdough cave…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s