Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Brexit, Perplexit, & Ways We Behave

I posted this back in late July, and it seemed like Brexit was fading in light of the Democratic and Republican conventions. Two days after Trump's election (who prophesied that his election would be "Brexit times 10,") I now see this topic as relevant, much more relevant than I would have predicted. I'll leave the rest as it was, and those who are reading this can draw parallels and provide mental updates to the events of this week.

I realize almost no one in the United States is talking about Brexit these days, but I've got a post that came to me as I was on vacation a few weeks ago. So casting caution and good sense aside, I decided to post this in the midst of the welter of news, info, tweaks, rants, and joyful exclamations surrounding the Democratic Nation Convention. And, in doing so, instead of getting all political, I'll keep this more personal.

The surprise of the Brexit vote occurred just as I was starting my first day of vacation in Europe—a continent to which Britain soon will not belong. As an American, the whole thing feels a bit distanced. I mean, our country’s foundation was to separate from England. So generally, independence sounds like a good thing to me and other Americans. (Incidentally, the U.S. also celebrated its Day of Independence--i.e., July 4th--while I was also on vacation.) Separating. Being independent. It's catching on. I read that the Netherlands might be next by doing, yes, “Nexit." And the Greeks with "Grexit"; France with "Frexit." Etc. 

Does this lead to Perplexit (my term), the state of wondering why this is all happening? Put more directly, Should we find this move unusual?

In seeking to answer my own question, it struck me that the impulse for Brexit is so common—when those around me bug me, why not just break the connection, stop texting, or de-Friend them on Facebook? I, like James Taylor (and the Drifters before him), want to go “up on a roof” and be by myself with the stars. 
And there, the world below can't bother me.”
Now of course, there are times when to separate is all well and good. Times when we need our space and relationships that--as the current saying goes, are “toxic"--that drain out our life and our health.

And yet. And yet, I wonder if we are not surprised—just like the Brits who really didn’t want to leave the European Union—that our protest actions are taken too seriously. That once we calm down, we find ourselves alone, isolated and lonely.

In another context, a family member quoted Abraham Lincoln—and the U.S. slogan—“divided we fall.” Both sources paraphrase Jesus, who commented that “every city or house divided against itself will not stand" (Matthew 12:25). Those words, it seems to me, are worth recalling.

Maybe Britain can stand by itself. I'm not sure, and I'm not really not predicting. But what I do know is that we as humans are prone to be deceived by the thought that we can make it on our own. In those moments, instead of pressing Exit, next time maybe should we try pressing Pause.


Kathryn said...

I like your thoughts here Greg. I have no idea how things will work out for my home country, but in personal relationships choosing pause sounds like a much better strategy than choosing exit.
Thanks for sharing.

Laura said...


Nobody said...

I posted this on my blog in 2008. At the time scientist estimated the universe to be about 13.2 billion years old. I calculated it to be 13.8.Can Science and Genesis Co-Exist?
Note: Some say I have too much time on my hands, but I thought this might help those that become anxious when science conflicts with your religious studies. This is my own theory and no one else’s, so if you have any problems with it, then send me your theory.
Scientist indicates that the outer reaches of the Universe is about 13.2 billion years old. They say it all started with a big bang.
Assuming the Bible is correct and I believe it is, then the creation took place in 6 days. Time is God’s and man’s measurement. There are 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, and 60 seconds in a minute. These are the measurements we generally use, but there are additional measurements such as a millisecond or 1/1000 of a second.
Let’s assume for a moment that God’s work took place in milliseconds. Now we have 24 hours times 60 minutes times 60 seconds times 1000 is one day. We have 86,400,000 milliseconds in one day. The 5 preceding days prior to man’s creation had a total of 432,000,000 milliseconds. This is important to understanding God’s creation of man. Adam was NOT created as a baby but as a full grown man. Let’s just say that God in one millisecond created Adam as a 32 year old man. Now in order to balance what has taken place with the age of Adam, then we must multiple 32 years times each millisecond that had preceded his creation. 432,000,000 times 32 years is 13,824,000,000 years which is very close to what scientists have estimated. Maybe they will be able to revise their calculations. Why did I use 32 as the age of Adam? God allowed his Son to die at about 32. Since everything about Christ and his life was perfect, then God only allowed him to die at a perfect age; therefore Adam would have been created at the perfect age (man's prime).

Earth as we know it, took place on the 3rd day. Now let’s see how close scientists are to the age of the earth. We multiply 86,400,000 times 2 days times 32 years (Adam’s age). We have the earth’s age as 5,529,600,000 years. Scientists say it is about 4 ½ billion years old. They are close again but no cigar.
This could go on, but hopefully this will set your mind at ease when scientists try to belittle the creation. I do not have any problem with God speaking and a big bang taking place.
I also have a theory about “black holes” that scientists have not to my knowledge ever written anything about, but I will save that for another day.