Friday, June 21, 2013

We Are Not Robots

Dreams have great meaning for many in Korea. Pigs and dragons appearing in dreams are good signs, and for some a good time to buy a lottery ticket. In a recent Catholic Times article, a priest mentions a woman he knew, a mother of two children, who came to him to interpret a dream.

"What kind of dream did you have that you want me to interpret? I know nothing about dreams." he told her.

"Father, in my dream I saw, coming from my son's room, an intense light enter the parlor. I ran to the bedroom but couldn't open the door although it was not locked. I kicked open the door and entered the room. Lying on the bed was my son, half robot and half human. I quickly embraced him and he responded by muttering "Help me to be a human, I want to be human, help me." While I listened to what he was saying, I  looked at the mirror in the room and saw that I was a robot. Startled, I woke up."

The dream was much longer and interesting, said the priest, and they laughed a lot during the retelling. That dream without any interpretation is a gift from God, he said. We can say that as a mother in raising children, there is the need to be concerned with the thoughts and feelings of the children. Nowadays, young mothers have all kinds of information on how to raise children correctly. Doesn't this, the priest thought, turn the mothers into robots and their grownup children into robots. Mothers are always thinking of what is to be done today, tomorrow, next week, next month. Consequently, many children do not sense the mothers' feelings as much as they do the information the mothers have gained and passed along. Isn't this what can be assumed from the dream, he said.

"Good heavens! Father," she replied. "I'm not that kind of person. Compared to other mothers I give my children all kinds of freedom. In any event, it was a strange dream. You are very busy, Father, and have given me of your time, thank you."

" How about a cup of tea before you leave." invited the priest.

"No, I have to be on my way," she said. "My child has three academies to go to, and I have to take him there, prepare his snacks, help with the homework, and shop for what is necessary. I have to work being a mother, you know. Good bye."

She had in her hands notifications from school, and as she hurriedly scurried off, the thoughts that came to mind, he said, were of the creation story. At the end of that story, humanity appears, and he wonders why we still continue to desire a robot's existence.

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