I believe I was only five years of age and my brother Frank was seven. We were brought up in a very religious home. Each morning we met in our kitchen my brothers and myself and had a Bible reading. Mother would explain to us the importance of many of the teachings of the Bible. We loved our mother very much and respected the loving care she gave us. Mother taught us concerning the importance of having faith in God for all things were possible through this faith.
One afternoon Frank and myself were playing in a nearby woods. Frank decided to try out what he had been taught by my loving mother. He told me that he was going to eat some poison ivy and because of his faith in God he would be protected by this loving God. Frank found some poison ivy leaves and placed them in his mouth. By the end of the day, Frank’s face looked like a small pumpkin. He was not even able to open up his mouth and a rash had appeared from the top of his head to his shoulders. I guess that God was busy doing something else for he did not protect my brother that day. As I look back on the day that my brother ate the poison ivy I now see as an adult that information misunderstood can be very detrimental.
When we are very young we need care keepers to take care of us. A small child by nature is very narcissistic for he is not able to care for himself. Information and lessons taught to this small child are accepted if the child respects and perhaps loves the giver of the information. On the day that my brother Frank ate the poison ivy he being a child misunderstood what he was being taught by a loving mother. As we get older and gain the ability to think and act for ourselves we should be capable of forming our own conclusions. This is not always the case! Many people live the rest of their lives not growing intellectually and searching out truths. Their minds become like mousetraps and shut out information that could be easily found.These individuals who most times are good people and are intelligent as all others simply base their beliefs on the information taught to them by a parent, a teacher, a religious leader or some other individual who they accept as learned. As adults certainly these individuals have the capability to think for themselves yet they choose to shut their minds off and live the rest of their life believing what they were taught by loving or at least caring caretakers.
I myself am not claiming that faith or other concepts taught to a child are necessarily incorrect. What I do believe is that as one gets older and becomes an adult they have the ability to search out information and come to their own conclusions. Too often this is not done. These individuals close their minds to the available easily found information on which as adults they could form their own conclusions. These individuals go into discussions too often with preset beliefs and closed minds taught to them by individuals that they respected and most times loved not willing to search out facts.
I myself see the importance of having faith, however, I also as an adult see the importance of searching out information to better understand what certain concepts mean to me other than what I was taught as a child. If one goes into a conversation or a debate with a closed mind and is not willing to at least think about new information one will come out of the conversation with what he or she came to the conversation with. If this is so why have the conversation in the first place? I believe this type of thinking is detrimental and one may spend the rest of their adult life chewing on poison ivy leaves.
What a way to live.