Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Not Good For Man To Be Alone

Originally posted December 3, 2009

I took Advanced Placement (A.P.) Physics when I was in High School. The first semester there were about 15 girls in the class,but by the second semester there were only four of us left. It was a hard class. To this day I'm not quite sure what compelled me to stick it out, but I did. One day, a few days into the semester, the teacher took us four girls aside and thanked us for being in his class. He said that some years he didn't have any girls stick it out to the second semester and that those years were always the hardest. He said, "The dynamics of the class are different when it is all boys. It gets kind of rough. It changes things completely to have girls in the class."

I've been thinking a lot about what my physics teacher said because I just finished reading "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding.


The story is about a group of boys, ages 6-12, who get stranded on an island by themselves. Things start out fine but by the end of the book everything is out of control and they are hunting and killing one another. It is a powerful commentary on human nature and the condition of our world today. While there are many interesting ideas brought up in the book the main thing I was struck by in this book is that these boys are "girl-less"; there isn't one girl or woman on the entire island. I couldn't help but wonder how different the story would have turned out if there had been a female presence on the island. Would just having girls in the mix have, like my physics teacher said, changed everything?

I'm inclined to think it would have.

Remember that not long after creating Adam and placing him in Eden God states "... It is not good that the man should be alone..." (Genesis 2:18). God doesn't leave Adam alone in the world by himself very long because there wouldn't have been anything for Adam to do there by himself except pet the animals and swim in the rivers. Adam needed Eve in order to fulfill his purpose on this earth and likewise Eve needed Adam to fulfill her purpose. Without each other they would have been nothing and God's work would never have gone forth. There is a beautiful balance created when men and women are equally paired and when they are working on a common goal. Neither man or woman is complete, in a spiritual sense, without one another.

The other thought I had when I was reading "Lord of the Flies" was that one of the reasons the world we live in now is so full of violence, inequality and hatred is because some people are trying to live as if women don't exist or that they aren't important. There are places in the world where women's voices and freedoms are smothered and silenced; places where women don't have the right to make their own choices concerning their bodies, their marriages, their children, or their futures. This type of attitude wasn't what God intended for relationships between men and women to become. God's great work will not be done by men only, nor by women only, but by men and women working together as equal partners. Satan knows this and he is doing everything in his power to convince men that they don't need women and women that they don't need men.This is a great lie and I feel it is one of the main reasons our world so closely resembles the Hellish type of society the boys in "Lord of Flies" created for themselves.

We need the talents and gifts of both men and women to accomplish God's work. We will never heal our world if men continue to exclude women from their social, political and spiritual arenas and if women begin to do the same. Such a future looks bleak; not much different from the hopeless situation the boys in "Lord of the Flies"found themselves in or the rough state of an A.P physics class without girls.

It is not good for man to be alone. It is not good for woman to be alone. We need each other... desperately.

9 comments:

  1. I read that in high school...it's a funny memory for me because my class then watched the move...It was rated R so my boyfriend and I got to spend time together in the library while the movie was going on...I agree...it is not good for man to be alone! :)

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  2. Jocelyn, that is a really fun story!

    Oh, and I just thought of one more thing that I wanted to clarify about this post. I don't think that just having a girl in the Lord of the Flies story would have "fixed" everything or prevented what happened from happening. Women have just as much potential for wickedness and evil as men. Yet, what I think would have changed would have been if somehow the boys and the girls would have worked together-- to build something-- instead of to let things turn into chaos. I just think it is interesting to think about how the story would have changed if there had been a female presence on the island-- for good or for worse.

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  3. Jocelyn, that is a really fun story!

    Oh, and I just thought of one more thing that I wanted to clarify about this post. I don't think that just having a girl in the Lord of the Flies story would have "fixed" everything or prevented what happened from happening. Women have just as much potential for wickedness and evil as men. Yet, what I think would have changed would have been if somehow the boys and the girls would have worked together-- to build something-- instead of to let things turn into chaos. I just think it is interesting to think about how the story would have changed if there had been a female presence on the island-- for good or for worse.

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  4. I hated that book in high school, though it is very interesting about boys being alone it always bothered me.
    I have to say though I have noticed in my own family dynamics how different men are when they are married compared to their single brothers. It isn't good that man (or woman) is alone. The single ones seem more wild, loose faith, hurt other family members and don't seem overly happy in life, compared to their brothers who are married and have a family. Not saying having man or woman in your life makes everything perfect, but I do believe they are far better off then not having anyone.

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  5. Yes! Nice repost! I just read/listened to something talking about how they civilized Australia: they brought in women and children. What was it that I listened to? Probably a talk. conference? WC? Wish I could remember. I don't think I even got around to blogging about it! Oh well.

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  6. Joe and Kirstin,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I've seen big changes happen too when people get married, it really changes things. Yet, I do want to clarify that I don't think that if you aren't married or in a relationship it doesn't mean that you are not "complete". I think on an individual level that people can still reach their highest potentinal even if they never have the chance to be married. What I was talking was on a more societal level-- about men and women working a together and having a common goal. Men and women who are not married can still be a part of building good relationships between men and women in their lives-- I didn't just mean marital relationships.

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  7. You mentioned how our world may resemble "The Lord of the Flies" because women are not given a voice in so many places around the world, and I agree. I also think a contributing factor could be that many women who do have a voice are trying to be just like men, instead of using their own talents and gifts that are unique to them as women.

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  8. I completely agree! I used to remark that in the Islamic nations they tend to be more violent because women are so harshly treated and aren't as influential. Our role in the family AND in society is so crucial!

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  9. This is very true, and this truth is why what is happening in China is so frightening. I'm sure you have heard of the crisis they have there. In 1979 the Chinese government, in an effort to reduce population, enacted the one-child policy. The Chinese government did not anticipate that so many parents would prefer boys over girls. The result was thousands of abortioned girl babies, abandoned, killed, etc. Now the males in China out-number females by a lot, in 2009 there were 32 MILLION more males than females. The result? More crime. More anger. More obesity.(they think because parents only had one child they spoiled them so much that they have all grown up with poor eating habits) I don't even want to think about how a young woman goes about finding a husband. The highest bidder? Surely the wealthy families would ensure their son marries. It is so sad. China is desperately trying to reverse this by making it illegal to find out the sex of your baby (so people cannot abort), and by having campaigns that show women are equal to men. Obviously this topic is a lot more involved, and I am certainly not an expert on it, but I just wanted to point out this real life example to your post. Certainly not a situation our Heavenly Father wants for his children. And much scarier than Lord of the Flies :(

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