We’ve all heard the philosophical riddle “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” To be honest I’ve never given it much thought, as I doubt many of you have either. However, for the sake of this blog I decided to read a little bit more into this riddle. Here is what I discovered at wikipedia.org: “The most immediate philosophical topic that the riddle introduces involves the existence of the tree (and the sound it produces) outside of human perception. If no one is around to see, hear, touch or smell the tree, how could it be said to exist? Perhaps the most important topic the riddle offers is the division between perception of an object and how an object really is. If a tree exists outside of perception then there is no way for us to know that the tree exists.” The real question is what is the difference between perception and reality? I actually did my doctoral dissertation on perception vs. reality. Trust me; you don’t want me to go into great detail of this 300 page sleep aid!
Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of information. Reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or may be thought to be. Confused? I am. I’ll do you a favor, just forget all that. It really means nothing, not even to my argument. I hope you will give me just a second to defend myself. You see, the other day I was reading an amazing blog from Todd Agnew entitled “Erasing James 1:27.” Here is a snippet:
“Most of us who have spent any time in church have heard the verse James 1:27: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” We preach on it. We agree with it. We make banners and t-shirts. But I went to an adoption conference this weekend and it opened my eyes and my heart. Dave Gibbons asked us the question: if you were the devil and needed a plan to paralyze the church, what would it be? Maybe it’s not a huge direct opposition. Maybe it’s not a war. Maybe it’s simply sowing the illusion that we’re doing something when we’re actually doing nothing.”
So my question to you is this: “If a child cries out for help and no one is there to hear, do they really exist?” I hope you don’t even have to think about this question for one second. I promise they do. Been there. Done that. Read the book. Saw the movie. Blah, blah, blah. They do. My fear, however, is that if they are beat down to the point they no longer have a voice we will no longer listen for their cry. Or, as Agnew feared, maybe their silence will lead us to believe something is being done that actually is not. So how do you give a voice to someone that does not have a voice? My in-laws are notorious for their numerous Labrador dogs. They’ve had so many that it almost always seems that there is something wrong with one of them. A few years ago they had a dog that ended-up being blind. They cared so much for the dog that they put bells on another one of their dogs so he could lead the blind dog along. There are 140 plus million orphans in the world. Sadly these statistics seem to get worse every year. If we are truly going to make a difference we must start by giving these children a voice. Make sure they are heard. Like my in-laws dog we must go to great lengths to make sure they are heard. They have a story to tell. We know there are plenty of places to tell the story. We even know there are plenty of people willing to hear the story. What we lack are people willing to TELL the story. Common’ people let’s TELL THE STORY. Use your voice. Aspire to new heights.
2 days ago