Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Triggered Memories

So I was at work, Verizon Wireless, when I looked out the front doors and spotted a silver Corvette.  Now most people might say something along the lines of, "Wow, that is a nice car."  Not me.  I instead reflected the same memories that every silver Corvette evokes in me, and that is memories of Bruce Boxleitner in Scarecrow and Mrs. King.   This was a TV show produced in the 1980's that centered on a plot about a spy and an ordinary house wife working together as a team.  It just so happens that Lee Stetson, aka Scarecrow, drove a silver Corvette throughout most of the series.  Now because this show aired when I was a small child, it may seem strange that I would have such a strong memories of it.  In fact, my mother will corroborate that I did watch this show when it aired, and I did indeed have a crush on Bruce Boxleitner at the ripe age of 4 or 5.  I do have to admit, the crush lives on!  These are the thoughts that are running through my mind at work, and all because there was a particular car parked out front.

Memories are crazy in that they can be triggered by strange sensations or experiences.  Other vehicles that I encounter give my mind different reactions.  For example, there are several models of trucks and a particular year of the cavalier in blue that raises my anxiety and blood pressure levels.  Just the sight of these vehicles takes me back to horrible relationships that have since thankfully ended.  Different odors are another very potent memory trigger.  There can be very pleasant triggers such as family dinners from specific foods that smell like your mommas home cooking or a great cologne that was worn by someone you love.  There can also be unpleasant reactions to odors such as specific scents from a horrible accident or the ever noticeable "hospital smell."  Our brains are like huge file cabinets that have been indexed with things that only it knows.  The smells, sights, and other experiences that trigger memories are like keywords found in a database. 

What crazy triggers have caused your mind to uncover memories?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

God and Communism

So my pastor leads the Sunday School which I attend on Sunday mornings.   This past week, we were discussing the meaning of justice in the context of the Bible, and someone offered the definition of fairness.  The pastor disagreed with this definition for justice because of the different interpretations of "fair" and the political ramifications that this word could denote.  He then actually mentioned, more than once, that to define the Bible's "justice" as fairness comes too close to communism.  Now he did not actually say that God would be against communism in general, but the political climate in the room definitely gave me the feeling this was what he meant.  I also got the feeling that I was alone in thinking that fairness and indeed the Utopian idea of communism is just what God would have in mind for us if He had not given us free will and therefore allowed the strong to prey on the weak. 

I was good and held my tongue during that part of the discussion. Still, my mind was reeling, thinking of how so many people misunderstand the true meaning of both communism and socialism because of the abuse that leaders around the world have given to the institution.  The age group of the class ensured that my feelings toward the economic system would definitely differ from the others since I was by far the youngest one in the room.  I did have my childhood during the Cold War, but I did not live with as much of that threat as the rest of them.  Facing less of a physical threat of imminent World War III, I am able to view the institution more objectively and see past the disgrace that Soviet leaders such as Stalin and Cuba's Castro have done with the nineteenth century ideal.  I am not saying that I think that we should abandon capitalism and turn toward a complete egalitarian economy.  What I am saying is that equality among all of His children is something God may look upon with favorable eyes. 

What does your faith tell you?