I’m starting to get into this facebook thing. When I add my comments to a thread, it feels a little like I am interrupting a conversation. It doesn’t matter, appearantly, whether anyone wants your opinion. If you have been approved as someone’s friend, your voice can pop up anytime, anywhere.
My granddaughter, Cynthia, is an intellectual. I love going to her page now and then to see what profound questions are under discussion. Because she is a college student, I always envision the people who write on her page to be students also. When I was a college student, discussions about deep topics most often occured between classes around a table in the student refectory or in our dorm rooms late at night. Back then, the topic of the day was race relations. We were pretty clueless but racism and the violence erupting all around us was disturbing to us. We wanted answers. We were trying to make sense of our world.
The questions I see on Cynthia’s facebook often centers around faith and religion. I love the idea that young people are thinking about these things. They are, after all, our future. They will be our policy makers some day and this is the time for them to hammer out their thoughts and see how they fit into the great scheme of things. I see their comments and I am amazed. I think, “Wow, those are really deep ideas for such young people.”
The people who sat around talking racism back in the 60’s are now in their 60’s. It pains me to note that, for many of them, the doors that seemed to open during those earlier years did not necessarily remain so when they got out into the “real” world. They stopped asking questions. The answers that made sense when they were sitting around in the dorm room somehow didn’t fit. Or they didn’t work. Or the demands those insights made on them were too difficult to live out in the world. People who continued to ask important questions and to live out convictions formed during those early days are not the ones who found much success in the eyes of the world. They aren’t typically the ones who rose to positions of power.
As I read the comments on Cynthia’s facebook, I have hope, as these young people go out into their jobs and start creating families, they will not let the worries of the world silence their questions and that they will remain open. This takes courage because the world is not comfortable when people start asking important questions.
I can’t always resist the temptation to add my comments to a discussion on Cynthia’s facebook. I am little fearful that she will wince. What would my college friends have thought if my grandmother had poked her head into our dorm room during one of our conversations? (Grandma’s might have been welcome if they had a plate of cookies in their hands.) But we didn’t have facebook back then. You have to be careful who you befriend.