Kannenberg column: Asking why
One nice thing about getting older is having so many observations to play around with. When I was young, my thoughts and ideas were based on assumptions and idealistic projections of how things ought to be. But as I got older, my views changed as I became a student of the experiences life had given me.
There are factors that come into play in our lives and change all the rules. Some, we control while others are totally out of our control. Our initial observations of those factors serve as the bedrock for our world views and become the basis of our culture.
Everything in our world revolves around that and, as a result, our culture starts to dictate what is right and what is wrong.
Those cultural rights and wrongs come to be known as our cultural mores.
Within any given culture there are numerous people who share the same behaviors. We dress alike, talk alike, and for the most part think alike. We are united by our culture. But deeper than our culture reside our cultural mores ó the rights and wrongs of our society. Our mores are the reasons why we dress alike, talk alike and think alike.
When a factor comes into play and changes our behaviors, we are initially offended.
“It just ain’t right,” we say.
We stand up and protest the new ideas because they challenge the core of who we are and the way we live. We feel a sense of civic duty to take a stand against the new idea or behavior.
Then somebody comes along and has the audacity to ask us a very simple, yet contentious question, “Why?”
That simple, one-word question changes all the rules. It causes us to look beyond our current behaviors and thought processes, and closely examine the bedrock upon which our culture is built.
“It just ain’t right.” “Why?” “Why, what?” “Why ain’t it right?”
That perhaps is the scariest dialogue we as human beings can ever face. It causes us to challenge the thoughts of our younger minds and the ideological foundations upon which our lives have been built.
What if we ask “why?” and find that there is a crack in our foundation? What if we learn that everything we based our life upon was sinking sand? The horror of that realization alone is enough for most cultural ostriches to bury their head in that sand. Most do.
We learn to despise new thoughts and ideas that challenge the way we live. We talk against, boycott and avoid anything that might go against the grain of how we were raised.
We say things like, “You ain’t from around here, are ya, boy?” in hopes of diminishing the impact of evil aliens that are sent from an evil planet to destroy all that is right and honorable among men.
I have one word for those who feel obliged to protect their world from change … why?
Why is change so evil?
Christ told us to inspect the foundations we have built our lives upon. He wanted us to know that foolish men build their houses on the sand while wise men build their houses on the rock. The only way to insure that the principles of your life are built upon the rock is to ask the question “Why?”
Take a long hard look at your life and ask “Why?”
nnnPastor Keith Kannenberg is senior pastor at Blackwelder Park Baptist Church, Kannapolis.