Tower of Babel

There’s a story in the Bible about a time when the human race united to build a Tower to reach the heavens. To prevent this project from succeeding, God confused their languages so that each race spoke a different language. The story always struck me as odd because why would God want to stop people from discovering Him. Isn’t that the reason we were created in the first place?

Coincidentally, the past few years have made me look at this Biblical story in a new light. I have a habit of checking news online, early in the morning, as I don’t watch TV news (except the daily show) or subscribe to a paper. In any case, sometimes I’ll read about deaths of people who’ve died only a mere 15 mins ago, in MALAYSIA or CONGO! Why is this relevant? Well let me ask you this, did news travel this fast back in the day? Didn’t it take months, if not years, for one culture to hear about a massacre in another country?

Take the cartoon controversy for example, within a day the entire world knows about this Danish newspaper, yet no one will give a rat's arse about it, a year from now. But here’s what’s crazy, we’ll all get rattled up, throw our opinions, pick a side, and go about our lives, as if we’ve actually made a difference. Corporations will continue to rule the world, and the masses – like donkeys- will continue to carry heavy tomes. Who really profited with that "Tower of Babel," the worshippers or the builders? Somebody got paid for that tower contract, I bet.

People back in the day only concerned themselves with what surrounded them, and in the process, refined and defined their culture and basic outlook on life. Malaysians worked to refine the Malaysians culture, while the Irish worked to refine their own customs. Even when people fought each other, in the long run they ‘learned’ from each other. If there were fanatics amongst a nation, there were also wise men, who upheld a balance.

When the tsunami occurred, it was touching to see how the world came together. But if only the human race carried itself with the dignity it has been offered. The builders have emerged and the Tower is in the making. Groupthink’s clutched the minds of mankind and we all dutifully take part in debates, pick sides, and yet will never dare to upset the balance of the group, locally.

While in the good ol’ days, while one nation was destroyed (mainly because of groupthink) there were still many more that flourished. I wonder, what’s in store for today’s world, a tiny community, thanks to our responsible media outlets. Woo.

So yeah, I think what the Biblical story is really trying to convey is that God’s confusion of language is not a punishment but a mercy, a chance for the human race to learn from each other, instead of screwing up royally and collectively, as one unit.

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and (with all things) is well acquainted. (Quran,49:13)