Vending Machines, Body Scans and Mao

Up until a few weeks ago I could buy sodas for 50 cents out of the vending machines at work. That’s pretty good for a can of Pepsi nowadays. This guy from the vending machine company came in, though, and increased the price on the machines to 75 cents for regular sodas, and $1.00 for Cranberry drink and Yoo-hoos. Wow, did people ever complain! Supervisors heard about it from their team members and there were grumblings that no one would buy out of the machines any more. You’d think from listening to them that the vending machine company would go out of business any day unless they lowered their prices. Well, like I said, that was a few weeks ago. The vending machine company seems to be doing okay and nobody’s complaining much any more. I knew they’d get used to it. That’s how people are.

The sad fact is that people will gripe a lot about things, but rarely are willing to make the effort or take the risks needed to effect change. Recently word came out about new body scanners that the TSA is testing and may be deploying on a large scale in the future (read about it here). On CNN the journalists and even camera crew were objecting, saying that this invasive technology that renders the human body nude is crossing a big line. I ask though: What are they or you or I willing to do about it? Nope. People will get used to it.

In fact, with enough fear and repression, people can be made to suffer greatly and even betray friends and family. Look at how far things had to go in Myanmar to get to the conflicts of today, or how far they did go in Mao’s China. Honestly, it doesn’t give me too much hope.

Then again, there are those courageous moments in human history when people stand up and oppose the real evils. High-priced soda probably isn’t worth fighting, but privacy and personal freedom certainly deserve a brave defense. Truthfully, the only man in history whose confrontation with the powers that be (both politically and spiritually) ever made a lasting difference was Jesus of Nazareth, on the cross. His apparent failure turned out to be a resounding victory, turning on its head our concepts of success and giving us hope for our battles. His fight was the climax of our world’s history, the point where the war was won. Looking to his cross, I hope his disciples can find the strength to resist and then fail victoriously for the reign of God.

Oh, and by the way, I take my own sodas to work now!

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