Children say the funniest things. The TV was on and they showed a piece of old film in monochrome. A youngster said: “Oh look, the TV’s gone wrong … it has no colour anymore.”
Someone explained that in those days TVs were in black and white only. And before that, when you went to the cinema the film you saw was also in black and white. And before that even, films in the cinema had not sound at all. They were silent and someone sat at the front of the stage and played background music on a piano.
“Oh …” said the youngster, having just discovered something new.
I added jokingly, “Yes … in those days life was all black and white. We saw each other in black and white. We heard each other in mono sound and not in stereo as now. And our vision was in two dimensions not in 3-D as it is called now … “
The youngster looked puzzled, but he was soon put right.
This set me thinking. In those far off days life really was in black and white, so to speak. People knew where they were. Life was indeed different. I say “different”, not necessarily better.
If you wanted bread you went to the baker. You bought meat from the butcher and fruits and vegetables from the greengrocer. You went to the tailor to have your clothes made to measure, or bought them ready made from a special shop.
Nowadays everything seems jumbled up somehow. You go to the supermarket and you can buy anything from food, clothes and toys to paint, computers and financial services. Some even dispense medicines and run funeral services.
Life in general seems to have the edges all blurred up and distinctions are fading fast. Even in the way we conduct ourselves.
People no longer seem to know right from wrong. They no longer accept personal responsibility and are ready to blame someone else. They’re too quick to seek compensation first rather than accept that things just do go wrong. Our moral compass seems to be all over the place. People you expect to be honourable and setting the good example for the rest of society no longer do so. We seem unable to distinguish between good and bad, Saint and sinner, Heaven and hell.
Our communications are not longer crystal clear and sharp either. We now have all sorts of conflicting messages in the news, from the internet, cell-phones, text messages, tweets and what have you. It seems we live in an age of miss-information.
In short, life is no longer in black and white. It’s all murky grey more like.
In the good old days God’s message was loud and clear. “Thou shalt not” meant just that. His Commandments were a set of rules and regulations; put there for our benefit, as a guide to life. Now they’ve become ten suggestions to debate in the pub over a beer or two, and to alter and dilute to suit our modern sophisticated lifestyles.
Now I’m not saying life was better in those monochrome, monosound, mono everything days. Just different …
I believe God’s message is indeed still loud and clear today. We just don’t care to listen.
See the difference?