Friday, 10 September 2010

Man's best friend?

"The one absolutely unselfish friend that humans can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts them, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is their dog."
George Graham Vest, Senator of Missouri, 1855
I have often stated the truth that 'people are relational creatures and not only is man not an island, man cannot exist fully in isolation'.  We were created to be relational by a relational creator who seeks relationship with us so it is no surprise that all people seek out connections with other people. Where these connections fail to develop into tangible relationships we tend to turn to pets  to find this connection we so desperately seek. 
 I must admit I have never understood the concept of a dog being man's best friend. Vest suggests that dog's are considered to be such because as human's we are so incredibly suspicious and devoid of trust for one another that we turn to animals to make that close bond / connection that we crave, dogs in this case but any pet of choice can be slotted in here. 
Whilst there is an element of truth in the point that it is difficult to find trustworthy people in our increasingly selfish and introverted world, this is not an impossible feat. The difficulty lies in man's innate selfish disposition that gives rise to untrustworthy behaviour and distrust where one approaches relationships from a purely self-seeking perspective. In an environment where one esteems others above self, one can create and foster genuine connections with other people and the effort in seeking these connections out is  often what many choose not to employ, deciding on focusing their efforts on a bond with an animal who wont talk back, tell them the truth, make demands on their time and money (beyond what is necessary for its health and life) or disagree with them. Not to mention those who turn on the owners children out of jealousy and attack them or those that do run away.
No I find it difficult to subscribe to the concept of a relationship with an animal (a dog in this case) being a better connection that that with another human. I would go do far as to say that a dog (or cat etc) is not any man's best friend but a selfish man's escape from genuine human relationship and connection with other people, because said man does not want to compromise, to partner with or be exposed and vulnerable with another person where accountability and faithfulness will be expected...a truly sad state of affairs indeed...

Flight 4:13...

Review of a play
Image courtesy of the Potter's House Church, Reading
I had the opportunity to attend a theatrical performance entitled 'Flight 4:13' at the Potter's House Church, Reading, UK on the 22nd of August 2010, the second of three showings.

 A plane carrying 200 passengers crashes leaving six survivors. Each survivor has a secret / secret life that they have been hiding and for some they have been even hiding the truth of who they are from themselves. Those who survive the crash are trapped in the plane and afraid that this is the end for them and so they start to confess their secrets to one another or expose each other for some. There are hypocrites, liars, pretenders and all other manner of characters in this bunch. The theme is that they all wear a mask or two and in this their final hour all is revealed. They then need to make a decision to repent and turn to God or not. As they are about to make this decision something unexpected happens...

Main Characters: Co-pilot, air stewardess, preacher, preachers wife, a baby and a spoilt rich guy
From L to R: Yemi Omonijo (stewardess), Ben Banda (spoilt rich guy), Luc Clerveaux (co-pilot), Ene Etteh (preacher) and Joan Agwuna (preachers wife holding the baby)
Image gallery:

My take on it:
I really enjoyed watching this play particularly because it was both really funny whilst incredibly revealing of the human condition. You could not helped being drawn in by the characters and whist you may not have committed their particular offences you could see the character traits they portrayed in your own life which was convicting. The hypocrisy that is often  found in organised religion was brought out to perfection and levelled the playing field, showing that no matter how religious you are, it says nothing of your heart condition. The scriptures put it best when they say that 'man looks on the outward part and God looks at the heart'...this play gives us a glimpse of the heart and we are able to make a comparison with the outward part. 

Poetess Yemi Omonijo
The highlight of this play for me was the poetess Yemi Omonijo who took to the stage as the closing act of this play with a recital of her about wearing masks. She has a melodious voice and has a way of drawing in the audience that is simply captivating. He words are clear and descriptive and you can imagine in your minds eye all that she describes and you can even place yourself in her poetry which is a powerful skill that one does not often come across particularly as a Christian poetess. I have heard her a few time before and simply love her art. All in all it was a really good theatrical display and evangelistic event.

Next play being hosted by the Potter's House Church Reading
Angry Young Minds -  25th September 
See the website for details here
Also coming up:

Photo Friday Challenge: Daybreak

A woodland
An early morning walk in Surrey United Kingdom resulted in this series of images of the woods at sunrise.

 Click here


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