The Cause & Effect.

Zaldy Infante

Melbourne, Australia

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Erwin Raphael McManus. Uprising.

It was a small weekend retreat where we were focusing on a group of high-risk, high-potential teenagers. After several years of working among the urban poor, I made an observation of a unique disconnect among urban youth. There seemed to be either an inability or unwillingness to connect the dots. The relationship between cause and effect somehow seemed to be missing. In the middle of one of my lectures, I pulled out a tennis ball and invited one of the young men in attendance to help me with a demonstration. I handed him the ball and told him to throw it as hard as he could at the wall behind me. We were inside a building, and even he had a sense that this was inappropriate. He repeated my request in disbelief, and I invited him to throw it as hard as he could against the wall. His body language screamed out, You don’t have to ask me twice.

Aware of his audience, he seemed to gather all of his strength and heaved that ball as hard as he possibly could. His aim was perfect. The ball pounded against the wall and came ricocheting right back at him, hitting him somewhere on the head. All of his friends who were greatly skilled at public mocking began to ride him. He was half embarrassed and half mad. He looked at me and immediately began to indict me. “Why did you make me do that? Why did you make me hit myself?”

I calmly asked him, “Where did you think the ball would go? I didn’t throw it, you did. Why didn’t you throw it at an angle?” Upon reflection, he was clear before he threw it that the tennis ball would not go through the wall. He just didn’t stop to think through the consequences of his action. There was a disconnect between cause and effect.

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Artwork Comments

  • Elizabeth Rodriguez
  • andreasphoto
  • Pip Gerard
  • Karen  Helgesen
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  • Simon Gottschalk
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