Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday Interesting...

...things that were interesting pre-SCOTUS announcements this week. The rulings handed down by the court in the past couple of days are intriguing, heartening, horrifying, and everything in between. Besides all that, there's this other stuff too:

We all want to be liked...and sometimes we come face to face with the reality that other people don't think as much about us as we do. And the reality that nuance is hard.
"We don’t give other people credit for the same interior complexity we take for granted in ourselves, the same capacity for holding contradictory feelings in balance, for complexly alloyed affections, for bottomless generosity of heart and petty, capricious malice. We can’t believe that anyone could be unkind to us and still be genuinely fond of us, although we do it all the time."
Interestingly, when it comes to the end of life, the things we regret most? Trying to be what someone else wants us to be, rather than who we actually are. Not expressing our feelings. Also, working too hard. No one ever says "I wish I'd spent more time at work..."

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Lots of news this week about daydreaming, mind wandering, paying attention, creativity, space, and thinking.

How do we learn to pay attention? Well, it starts when we're young and we see people either paying attention to us or being distracted by phone/tv/computer...and continues when we're the ones who always have our smart phone ready. How do we communicate that the person we're with is or isn't worth our attention?

Meanwhile, when it comes to work it seems our bodies and brains may work on a similar schedule when we're awake as when we're asleep. If we step away from the work on a fairly regular cycle, we may be both more productive and more creative. "We need to understand that 'on' is impossible without 'off,' and that the distance between the two needs to be made closer: like the beats of a heart or the steps of a runner."

There have been articles like this one about daydreaming running around the internet for about two years now. Surely they were around before that as well. Of course now they're in big news outlets, which will make the chapter in my forthcoming book about mind-wandering/daydreaming as spiritual practice seem both extra-hip and a little late at the same time. Obviously I'm a fan of daydreaming, or I wouldn't have dreamed up an entire chapter about it. Though I am a little surprised by the statistics: 30% of our waking time is spent with our minds wandering away from the task at hand. Of course, some of that is sitting in traffic (fine for mind wandering), some of it is sitting in meetings (less good for daydreaming), and some of it is while we're with people we really need to give our full attention to (kids, spouse, patients, doctors, etc). How we harness that power is the question.
“For creativity you need your mind to wander,” Dr. Schooler says, “but you also need to be able to notice that you’re mind wandering and catch the idea when you have it. If Archimedes had come up with a solution in the bathtub but didn’t notice he’d had the idea, what good would it have done him?”
Speaking of creativity--here are 12 things I can officially vouch are true about creative people. And I'm not even one of them all the time. But yes: we need time to be bored, to experiment, to make mistakes...

Of course, not many employers (or churches) want us out there making mistakes. Which is, in itself, a mistake. No mistakes = factory. Room for risk = lab. Which do you want to be in?

There was a beautiful tribute to philosopher, theologian, teacher, and friend Dallas Willard this week. Worth the read.
Our destiny, Dallas used to say, is to join a tremendously creative team effort, under unimaginably splendid leadership, on an inconceivably vast plane of activity, with ever more comprehensive cycles of productivity and enjoyment.
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Power to the Humanities majors! Everyone should pick up a book and learn how to read like an English major. And think critically. And write. Please, please, let's teach people how to write. And you know what? It might actually get you a job after all. Take that, people always mocking the English majors.

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As usual, there's lots of "where are the young people??" laments going on in churches all over the place. Of course, it's summer so the real lament is more like "where are all the people?" (answer: at the beach, in the woods, up north, out camping, at Disney, etc etc etc.)

Ten things to take seriously, including "Young people are tired of having assumptions made about them "Young people" are often seen as a commodity. And furthermore, seen as THE commodity that will save the church. A church is seen as thriving if it has young adults and we sometimes feel only like numbers and a bullet point in the strategic plan. We are talked about and around and all sorts of people have ideas about what we want and what we need, most of which is wrong. There is a pretty easy way forward. People could ASK us what is important to us."

And then there's the perpetual problem (at least for those of us who are trying to lead a church that straddles both 1.0 and 2.0 cultures) of passive v. active engagement. This went viral this week, leading people to wonder why we can't have more participative, interactive, building-something-together church. Why can't we? Well, there's very little stopping us, aside from generations of tradition.

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Last but not least, two completely hilarious things. I mean seriously. So so funny.

You don't need to join pinterest, but you do need to see this board.

Also this. so much cuteness. I defy you not to at least smile:

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