OPINION

Mid-week Musings || A world in peril is running short of wisdom

Targetted: Mourners at the funeral of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani last week.
Targetted: Mourners at the funeral of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani last week.

I recently put my globe of the world into a box of things my world will never need again, bound for the St Vincent de Paul shop at the end of my road.

I was going to put these things into a big plastic bag, until I was told "they don't want plastic bags anymore, and they don't like being called 'St Vincent de Paul' anymore either. They've changed their name to 'Vinnies' now."

The world is changing.

But what was I still doing with a globe today? The globe sat on the telephone directory to keep its thin pages from irregularly turning in the breeze of a rotating fan hitting that part of the bedroom every seven seconds.

But who needs a telephone directory today? The directory was good for accuracy when I needed something to throw at my alarm clock each early Monday - aka International Priests' Day Off.

The old phone book rarely hit the snooze button I was aiming at, but it did knock the cord out of the power socket once, so, I'm claiming that one as a win. But who needs an alarm clock today?

All these once-modern inventions - now completely replaced by the mobile phone, went into the box, bound for Vinnies. It felt like the death of that old lady who swallowed the spider to catch the fly. The world is changing.

One day I'll find my calculator, compass and flash light behind some old books, only to throw the whole lot away on realising the mobile has replaced all these things as well!

Maybe the day will come when the mobile phone will replace every single thing that matters in life. Judging by some people's meltdowns when there's no internet, I'm guessing that day has already arrived.

Of course, not all change can be called evolution; sometimes change is closer to devolution. As the inventor of Paypal, Elon Musk pointed out, the Egyptians invented the pyramids, but then they forgot the technology; the Romans invented the aqueduct, but they also later forgot how.

We've experienced something similar in recent history with the invention in 1965 of the Concorde jet. As the fastest commercial airplane in history, the Concorde flew passengers at 2,180 km/h - more than twice the speed of sound.

However, the last Concorde was retired in 2003 and sadly nobody alive knows how to build them anymore. I can't help think that something similar has happened to leaders and authority in our world today.

On hearing Jesus teach for the first time, the reaction of his audience is interesting: "Here is a teaching that is new, he teaches with authority unlike our leaders".

Whatever mystery may lie behind why they said this, after musings on many of last week's events, I think authority and leadership and thus the world, is changing, and perhaps not all for the better.

The speeches of actors at last week's Golden Globes remind us we're living in times when preachers try to entertain, and entertainers try to preach.

Our country burns out of control, and the world seeks answers from a 16-year-old on the other side of the world.

After reigning for more than 67 years, last week saw the Queen of England has her hands tied and power split by a grandson and his wife who want to set up business in competition with the family, yet still be royals and cash-in on the family name. The world is changing.

In 2011 when President Obama had Osama bin Laden killed, Obama was not condemned.

In 2011 forces organised by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton killed Muammar Gaddafi. Clinton told CBS News "We came, we saw, he died." Then she laughed.

Even though later footage showed Gaddafi was sodomised with a sharp instrument and beaten to death as he pleaded for his life, neither Obama or Clinton were ever condemned.

However, last week, after President Trump had clear and present danger Qasem Soleimani killed, the media condemned Trump and the U.S. House of Representatives voted to restrain the President's powers.

The world is in peril, unless wiser people are forthcoming.

Maybe the day will come when the mobile phone will replace every single thing that matters in life. Judging by some people's meltdowns when there's no internet, I'm guessing that day has already arrived.