Food for Thought-What Are The Theological Questions This Picture Implies?


Pictures like this are supposed to imply what? There is no more outside? I see plenty of outside from where I sit. Where has the outside gone? People no longer go outside?  I see people everywhere I go.  Many of them are outside.  When school ends, many will be children playing outside.  Has someone taken nature away? No, I don’t think this is the message. So what’s the point of the crotchety, old man expression superimposed over a big tree?  Is there some old man meme factory where groups of mean old men type these things out all day long?  A mean old man sweat shop, where a cabal of the elderly, convinced no one understands how it “used to be”,  is determined to guilt the world into change, one meme at a time?  Perhaps.

There is a subtle and more sinister theme at work: “I’m better than you because I had some idealized version of a rural childhood”. Notice the tree and lush green grass.  It’s not a city park.  Outside doesn’t count if it’s on a pick up basketball court on the south side of Chicago.  Outside means the country.  It also seeks to imply that people who play outdoors are morally superior, ethically more aware, and posses greater virtue than those who play indoors.   The outdoor people experience  valuable life lessons no one else has ever learned anywhere else at any time in human history.  Completely unique to wherever they live, no one else shares their insights, wisdom, and homespun humor. They learned these lessons because they walked barefoot under trees in hot weather.  Or so it would seem.  The meme implies a black and white, all or nothing world. Summer time is dominated by the strong Tom Sawyers , not the allergy laden children addicted to the X-boxes in their playrooms. There’s no room for balance. It’s all as it was or not at all. People who play indoors are weak, sheltered, and missing out on some intangible something; most likely religious.

Does this meme wish to imply that nit wit, God denying, prayer stopping liberals keep their kids indoors and hover over their children in an overprotective manner to prevent them from enjoying their joys of an unfettered youth climbing big trees and running through green grass as Jesus intended?  Maybe.  For the record, I’m an occasional nit wit, sometime liberal, and a full time follower of Jesus who likes the tress and air conditioning.  It seems a pointless thing to imply. Since no one has taken the outside away from anyone.


2 thoughts on “Food for Thought-What Are The Theological Questions This Picture Implies?

  1. I believe you have hit the nail on the head. This meme, at least for me, doesn’t carry a positive message meant to inspire someone to enjoy to the outdoor life or to push his children out into the tree filled back yard. What some people want to call the “good old days” weren’t really all they would have us believe. Not long ago my 18yr old son was bemoaning the lack of creativity/spontaneity in so many of his peers. He began to pump my memory for examples of how kids spent their time before the electronic age. So being the perfect dad I went on to pontificate about the magical world in which I grew up where boredom was a foreign concept. We lived lives full of laughter, adventure and transformative experiences that ultimately gave rise to…the generation of geeks who invented this electronic age and probably the insufferable types who create such degrading memes. Whenever I encounter or have thoughts about the good old days, the first question I ask myself is who were they good old days for? Next I think about the folks who were on the other end of the spectrum during those good old days. I find it cures me of the kind of unhealthy nostalgia that clouds the vision and makes me forget that climbing trees comes right before the falling from said trees and a trip to the emergency room with a compound fracture

    Besides, given His environment Jesus would likely have us running barefoot through the sand….

    Thanks, I appreciate the food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Jesus was a barefoot sand kind of guy, I’m pretty certain of that. You’ve got it, I’m calling into question the unhealthy nostalgia that infects our current perceptions of past and present. Thank you for sharing Ron. Your insights are appreciated and welcomed.


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