Reflections on Thinking and The Irony of Being Sarawakian

Saturdays for me is a time when i get disengaged with academia for a while and just do some light thinking on the side. Constant studious reflections on theology and the bible sometimes choke life out of a person, but it’s not that i’m complaining, it’s just taking some time to relax and read other stuff. One sided knowledge does no good to living-in-this world-Christians.

I was reading this article (or rather a blog post) on the problem with kids/ youths now. The problem that is addressed is that youths nowadays lack the critical mind to think. An example given is on media as quoted by Brett McCracken (the writer of the blog post)

With few in the media asking challenging or provocative questions of films anymore, it’s no wonder that most people under 25 have learned to consume media without the filter of critical thinking.”

Why is this happening? McCraken states that youths lack “curiosity about the world.” He further adds on this by saying that youths are “bored by any inquiry that lasts more that a few minutes or which requires more than a few Wikipedia searches.

McCraken disgrees with some who have said that the lack of reading among youths has been the contributing factor to youths lacking in the skill to think critically. The real problem to him is that kids are raised into this world “with no enchantment of the world.” With the answers begging at the tip of their fingertips and the surge of instant entertainments made available through game consoles, it leaves little room for having things that “intruige” or “piques our interest.

He critiques the educational system as well as parents who have been major contributors in neglecting their responsibilities to probe wonder and fascination for youths to garland interest in the sense of exploration. McCraken’s concluding remark tell us that the problem is not “a lack of intelligence or the inability to think” but ratherthe lack of knowing what to think about or caring to think about anything in the first place.

Although the problem stated above is a critique of youths in the context of youths in America, they speak volumes to the situation where i live as well. There is surely a lack of thinking that leans on the critical side among youths in Sarawak. Look at the political situation for example. While the the west side part of Malaysia is probing questions about the political ruling authority, people in Sarawak lack the mental capacity to think critically and ask difficult questions.

This is not only a problem with youths but the problem stems from grown ups as well. Are we still hiding behind our thick bushes and leaving our minds behind at the door because we are afraid of confrontation?

This post has nothing to do with any political agenda to topple any ruling powers just a critique of the thinking mentality of east Malaysians at the moment.

If the problem with youths in America has nothing to do with “a lack of intelligence or the inability to think”, our brooding problem is exactly this. We have left the thinking to authority figures and let them dictate and in that they have made fools of us when they in fact crave power and not thinking about us.

I see this happening most of the time and what is saddening is that this sort of thing happens in the Christian community. Maybe youths are being challenged critically about some issues, maybe their eyes have broadened because of some facts, and it might be the Spirit probing them about fallacies and the lack of spiritual vigor in the life of the church but these voices and thoughts get dampened by power hungry leaders who have no sense of urgency. Urgency for things that ‘might’ be vital for the lifeline of the church and succeeding generations after.

While the world is changing and worldviews are changing, there is simply no room for youths from where i am to simply pass time and think mindless thoughts. We have to pick up the brains that we have left at our doors and start using our brains for the greater good. I say this because there is a wearisome sense of subconscious vibe that i feel around that tell me natives can’t think. People that originated from the jungle has no capacity to think critically. So, this is part of my frustration. People look down on natives. I don’t know why. But maybe it is due to our own mistakes of dismantling our brains. Well, it is high time we get back to the woodshed and create some revolutionary ideas and get things moving.

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