Have you watched anything on the news lately that has left you incredulous? (for my friend, Joe, that means being seriously surprised or in shock) I’m frequently surprised at how humanity, even after all this time, still deals with fear via small-minded-thinking. Like in the case of the monks in Burma being shot at, or the “Jena Six” story,* which are classic examples of our society being driven by fear through small-minded-thinking. In the former it’s a situation of the Burmese government being fearful of democracy and the in the latter it’s a case of both blacks and whites not being able to think beyond the small-minded world of their past. Now days, small-minded-thinking is the norm it seems.
But then again, maybe that’s pretty much the way it’s always been. Do you remember studying Louis Pasteur in Jr Hi history. I was reminded recently about how Pasteur made some startling discoveries regarding hygiene in the 1860’s. He argued that infectious disease was caused by microbes and could be warded off by something as simple as the washing of hands. Sounds pretty elementary to us, right? Wrong. The response from the medical world was negative and swift. The Academy of Medicine in France was so embarrassed by Pasteur that they expelled him from their membership. One fellow scientist even challenged Pasteur to a duel! (Those were the days weren’t they? When scientists not only were good with beakers but guns too.) Think these were men driven by fear through small-minded-thinking? Of course, later they had to admit that many of Pasteur’s theories were one hundred percent correct. (Sing with me, “I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger.”)
It’s just unbelievable the kind of small-minded-ridicule Pasteur endured. And yet throughout history just about anyone and everyone who made any kind of contribution to society had to deal with it… think men and women, presidents, kings, political leaders, freedom fighters, missionaries, doctors, humanitarians, and on and on… oh, yeah, and Jesus. He endured some scorn and as one prophet said, “He didn’t even do anything wrong.”
So, at times part of me gets ‘down’ about all this fear-driven stuff… but then I remember that it’s just the way it’s always been. It’s the way of the world but you and I don’t have to live that way. We don’t have to cower in fear. Or as one guy put it… “Don’t conform to the patterns of this world. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I dare you to live that way.
*OK, I admit that I initially got these news stories from my friend, Andy, who knows I am current-events challenged.
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