1541 L Thu 27 Dec 2001
There have been lots of houses burnt down in New South Wales,
Australia. One story is on the front page of The Australia today,
by David King.
Priest loses all while saving church
Father John Evans knew flames were surrounding his home when
bushfires raced through the Blue Mountains on Christmas night,
but all he could think of was saving the church he had served
for 32 years. ...
It explains how in saving the church his presbytery with family
possessions was lost. "Our material things are wonderfully
precious but life is more precious," he says after describing
the things lost.
It reminds me of the book by Allan Carlson "From Cottage
to Work Station" which I finished on Christmas Day. It deals
with the material things of the industrial age and life -- particularly
in the family. It highlights the tension between the two.
It describes the problem and past attempts at solutions, without
really giving a solution. Writing in 1993 he discusses technological
In practice, though, the promised technological rescue of
family life rarely materializes. Experiments in telecommunicating
between home and central office have, so far, had mixed results,
and have yet to make a statistical dent. Similarly, home-based
entrepreneurial ventures carry all of the risks normally associated
with small businesses and report the same high casualty rate,
a fate usually rooted in undercapitalization. Moreover, home
schooling exacts a high structural, emotional, and financial
price among families so engaged, costs rarely affected by the
available electronic gimmickry.
In the end, there are no easy, indirect solutions to the dilemma
of the family in industrial society. Mankind cannot escape the
dictates of its biological nature and the innate drive for a
stable life within a family. Nor can it permanently tame the
revolutionary thrust of industrial capitalism through state power
without putting itself at even greater risk. (pages 167 - 168).
I have found it interesting. It seems to bring together my
training as an Industrial Engineer, my career in the Australian
Defence Force and studies in theology.
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 27 December 2001.