Sunday, March 2, 2008

Raising Modern Zombies

I like driving so I can weed the countryside with my eyes and get in touch with the natural setting. During these long trips I think about all: past, present and future. Sometimes I get lost in my thoughts and complete the process in my dreams. I had stopped to do #7 or perhaps # 13 (whatever name you call it during a road trip) when I saw a group of young people coming out of a gas station. They all looked disconnected from each other with each having their ears plastered with earphones. I made many trips with two different groups: mates and teenagers. With my mates, we sat in front and discussed the humbug of life nowadays while the teenagers were all glued to their electronic gadgets. In my next trip, I was in the plane and latter the train. In each trip, I sat gazing directly forward as if trying to see what my glasses have failed to see. It was all the same setting. The young people were superglueed to their electronic gadgets. Then a quick question propped into my mind: “are we raising modern zombies”?
In the 17th Century, RenĂ© Descartes fully developed the idea of a human being acting without consciousness. Are these kids nowadays acting without consciousness? Four centuries later, the father of Afrobeat; the Nigerian: Fela Anikulapo Kuti in 1977 produced his music titled “Zombie”. In it he compared the Nigerian army to a zombie because they do as they are ordered without using their consciousness. Perhaps the police from all third world countries and soldiers worldwide are zombies. But with the soldiers and the people of Descartes days, humans made them zombies while nowadays electronic gadgets are those forming our modern zombies.
These modern zombies lack basic conflict resolution skills; they think to disagree with their personal opinion is rejecting them, and they are specialists in deferring challenges that crop their paths. They communicate as though to impose their opinion and complain about all and nothing. Look at them sitting in a bus, classroom, train, at home, and everywhere with their eyes fixated on some widget and their ears plastered to their video games, Ipods, MP3 players, sports, internet, and their parents complete it in workaholism and the Rat Race. Please tell me; are these still human beings?
The reason why the society is the way it is today is because the parents today were the zombies of yesterday. They were raised up jealous, cruel, cowardly, foolish, rebellious, selfish, unfaithful and proud. No doubt we so lack and so desire basic human qualities like compassion, humor, honesty, integrity, patience, tolerance and understanding. They seem to hate everything and everybody including themselves. This is an angry and hopeless generation that finds solace in electronic gadgetry rather than human beings. Listen to this: it is not good that anyone should be alone.
I took a little trip to see if the animals and insects have a lesson for us. I found that we are now like animals and we are raising young zombies who will act by instinct rather than by reason; that means closer to animals. The social behaviors of animals range from social groupings, male-female, solitude, cliques to school aggregation. No matter how animals may group but with time, food, threat, reproduction and a life stage, they start to fight among themselves. Isn’t that what is happening today? You hear people say things like I can’t talk right now; I just want to be left alone. That is synonymous to the animal life stage. Look at how money and individualism have torn our society apart that we have engraved in our kids' hearts the adage: "everyone for himself/herself and God for us all". Isn’t it true that some people will kill you just for money? Relationship is now just for sex rather than for company and subsequently family. No wonder marriages go kaput everyday, and divorce papers are littered in courtyards.
The human being was not made to live in solitude and that is why solitude easily kills than any other thing. So why do we so desire to be left alone? Perhaps I should take you to visit some insects. They live together in well organized colonies and with their language dance they signal danger to their compatriots, help achieve great projects and they save during good weather for raining days. Are we thinking of tomorrow at all?
Dear reader, are you allowing your children and the young people around you spend all their time on whatchamacallits? Then you may be guilty of raising a modern zombie. Yes, a real zombie that will be dangerous for themselves, you and the society. If you say things have changed for the worse nowadays then think of what we would have in the next 30 years: a society where human beings are totally cut-off from other humans, and toys and gadgets will replace the human touch. Do you understand why school shootings are increasing daily and will skyrocket in future? Modern Zombies! Every time I ask young people about the number one human quality they want to see in the other person, they always tell me honesty or loyalty. How will there be honesty or loyalty when you are closer to toys than humans? Remember this: if you form a monster to kill your enemies after they finish killing your enemies and they have no one to kill they will turn to you and later themselves.

Until then, raise real human beings.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

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