31.1.04

Hope?

I have written before about Michael Crichton's work. It, again, got me thinking about something. I just finished watching "Jurassic Park". I was thinking that there are several things I like about Crichton. His books have a pretty common theme. People create or discover something that they are unable to handle, and in their arrogance and over-confidence they end up messing up big time. This allows Crichton to embody in his novels two things, though one definitely wins in the end of each of his books. These two things are the hope and ability of modern confidence, as well as the despair and uncertainity of postmodern despair. Ok, those are two little neat categories that don't quite work, I know that, but as much as they are broad generalizations they fit.

I admit it. I like the hope and confidence that we used to have. I enjoy reading Arthur C. Clarke, and I liked 20,000 leagues under the sea. I miss it sometimes, for it seems largely absent from the people I know. I remember a conversation I had with a poor man, as he was selling copies of "Our Voice" (which is a newspaper here in edmonton that expresses the views of those who don't often get to express their views). We started talking about books we had read, and he said that he liked older books because back then people still had hope. It was very strange to get a short lecture on hope from a man in his position. It made what he said more powerful, and it made me realize that I was the poorer man of the two of us. We talked about how people had hoped in the wrong things, and he told me that I needed to hope in God. He said that my generation viewed past failures as reason to give up, instead of reasons to push forward, and that we needed was something we could trust. He told me that he had only ever found it in God. Like I said, it was odd getting such a lecture, but truth be told I needed it.

Of course, I also like the humility that Crichton conveys; all the hopes and dreams made real by science that end up having been made with big teeth, and quickly become uncontrolable. He has a point, we are arrogant. We don't know what were doing. I, like many my age, am very cynical. I had a conversation today with a friend of man, a very smart man, about how to use power responsibly, and what implications there are towards how we act when we consider that we know nothing with certainty. At one point he mentioned that a friend of his was going to try and motivate university students towards some kind of political action. I responded that we are, in general, to apathetic. But my friend claimed that his friend knew of a way to use our cynicism to get us to help him. We both agreed that our cynicism was probably the only thing stronger than our apathy. I am not so sure about using cynicism to motivate, but for other reasons.
Regardless, I share the uncertainty about how to act with wisdom.

I know what I believe about wisdom, and what I believe about its source. I believe it comes from God. I wish I could just tell everyone to try living by the ten commandmants for a week and see what a difference it makes. Most likely the only way to convince anyone is to live it; but I lack confidence in my ability to do that as well. Pray for me, for wisdom. Pray for yourselves to. You may or may not believe in the bible, but I do (and as vague as that statement is, I am not going to qualify it here). "If any of your lacks wisdom, he should ask God,"


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