Last week someone found my blog by searching for this phrase.
It’s stuff like this that makes me wish Google Analytics provided more information about individual searches because I’d love to know who was asking the question and why they were so curious about theological positions held by a former pastor many years ago.
Bruce is actually a friend of mine so we ended up chatting about this odd search phrase shortly after it popped up on my radar. Sorry to disappoint you, anonymous reader, but while he was a Theonomist many years ago he hasn’t been one for a very long time. 😉
Longterm readers already know how I feel about the topic of gossip, but as a social phenomenon it’s a bizarre thing. Sometimes rumours are based on the truth, sometimes they’re based on outdated information, and sometimes the latest gossip about as accurate as the telephone game.
Here’s a modest proposal: instead of assuming or guessing what’s going on with other people…why not just ask them?
I know, I know. The truth isn’t always salacious. Sometimes even people who say controversial things end up being pretty ordinary once you get to know them.
Yes, some questions are too prying unless you know the recipient very well, but even then there are ways to circle around a topic if you’re absolutely dying to know and are willing to accept a polite redirection of the conversation if the other party isn’t willing to tread that ground.
Yes, some questions have been asked a thousand times before. You don’t always know which ones they are, though, and ignorance is really only a problem for people who refuse to seek out education on the matter once they’re aware it’s in their blind spot.
So I still say it’s better to have one straightforward conversation than swirl around in speculation.
A few weeks ago a new reader found this blog by searching for this phrase.
The answer is quite simple: occasionally share the delicious thoughts you prefer to keep to yourself.
Those of you who have met me in person know how quiet I usually am in large social gatherings. Some folks have the irrepressible urge to share every single thought that flitters through their mind.
It’s great to listen to them but I’m not that kind of person.
I’d rather listen while I figured everyone else out than reveal too much information about myself prematurely. It’s better to be seen as a little mysterious than to throw all of your cards on the table before you even know which game everyone is playing.
At times I’ve attended a gathering, thoroughly enjoyed myself and gone home without talking more than ten minutes the entire night. I don’t believe in speaking for the sake of speaking or in sharing a premature idea. Better to mention something a little too late than to say what you’re thinking before you’ve decided what your opinion is on the topic!
Every once in a while, though, when everyone else least expects it I’ll pick the ripest thought and share it.
One of my favourite blogs, Paleofuture, shows us what people in the past thought life would be like in the future. Some predictions are quite accurate, others are laughable off the mark.
In the spirit of Paleofuture here are my predictions for the biggest controversies of 2113:
Should android-human relationships be legally recognized? How do you construct a fair marriage contract between a machine and person?
If dolphins have been granted human rights why not expand the same privileges to other animals?
Now that we have universal antibiotic resistance how do we keep the gravely ill alive? Is it ever worth performing surgery knowing that act carries serious risk of post-operative infections we can no longer treat?
Can humming a song without paying the appropriate royalty fees be considered a copyright breach?
Is it ethical to cut off someone’s Internet access if they can’t afford to pay for it? Isn’t the Internet as crucial to modern life as electricity or running water?
With new, fertile land opening up and settlers moving in should Antartica be chartered as her own country or function as a colony of an existing nation?
How would you answer these questions? What do you think will be the hot topics of 2113?
This is a parable about asking questions, the fear that inhibits us and how difficult it is to stifle curiosity permanently.
When I was 11 years old I thought all adults had to have children especially if they ended up in a longterm relationship. The few I met who did not follow this rule were deliciously rebellious. I wondered how they’d gotten away with it but was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to follow in their footsteps. For one thing, most of them were men and I’d somehow come to the conclusion that the rules weren’t so easily bent for women.
I didn’t know why things were this way or how to change them but in quiet moments I thought about it often. It was a puzzle for which I hadn’t been given all of the pieces yet.
There were a few adult women in our social circles who waited until they were really old to have a baby. Some were 30 or even older! I thought, therefore, that I could probably delay it until I was that age. At which point I’d figure out some other reason to wait just one more year for a decade or two until I became impossibly old.
It was only as I grew older that I figured out that becoming a parent really was a choice. No one could force me to have a child and it was ok to never do it.
That realization was a breathe of fresh air. In the near future would come other labels: bi. non-theist. humanist.
A generation or two ago I don’t know that I would have been able to be so open about who I really am to the world.
But it all started with a question I had yet to answer and a conviction I couldn’t (quite) name.
What did you think of the video? What questions or identities have bubbled their way to your surfaces?
Recently I had a conversation with someone who doesn’t understand my tendency to read blogs and books written by people with whom I disagree. Why not focus on everyone who sees the world exactly the way that you do?
Well, many of the writers I follow do agree with me. There’s comfort in spending time with people who share your beliefs and don’t need lengthy explanations about X, Y or Z.
With that being said here are 3 reasons why it’s beneficial to read stuff that ruffles your feathers, too:
1. You might be wrong. I might be wrong, too! There’s value in holding opinions in the palm of your hands instead of in a clenched fist. Occasionally I’ve changed my opinion midstream when the person I’m speaking with introduces me to a new way of looking at the topic. Even if everyone walk away with no changes to our ideas we will at least know how others think.
2.They’re good writers. Knowing how to clearly communicate through the written word is a gift. I’ve winced through far too many poorly-constructed books, blog posts and essays in my 29 years to continue giving them my attention. At this point I’d much rather focus on story-tellers (fiction and non-fiction alike) who know this craft well enough to creatively break the rules.
3. Friendly disagreement sharpens your mind. Disagreement doesn’t always mean conflict and conflict isn’t always bad. Once one begins to temper the urge to always be right there is so much we can learn from examining what it is we believe and why it is we believe it. It takes a long time for me to grow comfortable enough to do this with other people as it can lead you to quite vulnerable places. The list of folks who have made it so far is fairly small (and even they know not to push certain topics) but the rewards are long-lasting.
Late last year my friend Zora blogged her replies to what a search engine came up with when she typed in the phrase, “nothing is more important.” A few weeks after she posted this entry I kept finding articles about how google filters what we see on the Internet. You and I can enter the… Read More
With his permission today I’m blogging a response to a semi-recent tweet from @mike_friesen : Somedays, I wonder how I can rediscover the beauty seen through the eyes of a child without the naivete. I want wonder and awe with wisdom. [sic] This is what I’d recommend: 1. Stop watching commercials. There’s something about advertising… Read More
A new reader recently found this blog by searching for this phrase. It’s a great question, one in which is just as applicable for people who live far away from or haven’t formed a close or healthy relationship with their extended family. My family moved several times when I was growing up. For four years… Read More
Fair warning: this post contains mild spoilers for seasons one and two of Mad Men. Earlier this summer Drew and I started watching a fantastic drama called Mad Men. We recently started the second season and while watching one of the episodes last night I turned to Drew and remarked how odd it was that all… Read More
Almost all of us have made a New Year’s resolution at least once. This year I’m asking New Year’s questions instead: When and why did people first start making resolutions on New Year’s eve? What do lychee taste like? Does the Mayan calendar end on December 21 because the world is going to end or… Read More