Doing The Work Well Is Worth It (Or, I Started This Blog Four Years Ago Today And I’m Fine With Not Having Anything To Show For It)

These days it seems as though a lot of my writing ideas come from conversations with others that cause me to think about things I might not have thought about before. Or maybe to view it in a different way than I have in the past. Not an amazing concept, I realize, since people seeing things from a different perspective is sort of how life works.

A particular conversation I had in the past week was with a guitar playing friend of mine. He had always been a guitarist, and we met when he was in school and was studying guitar. In recent years, he had relocated to a part of the country that bred more songwriters and he was expanding into the full art of songwriting. Basically, uncharted territory for himself.

Why do that? Why branch out from what you have done for your whole life? Well, simple: because doing the work well is worth it. The finished product is a nice result, but perhaps too much focus is placed on it. Michelangelo had a fine résumé built for himself before he was commissioned for the Sistine Chapel. The grand masterpiece doesn’t happen overnight, and without his early work, he doesn’t get the recognition, and therefore Sistine goes elsewhere. Read More…

A Stinky Process (Or, There’s A Metaphor In There Somewhere….)

Do you know how to clean a coffee maker? With vinegar.

I wasn’t aware of this until recently. Actually, until recently I had never owned a coffee maker. They intimidate me because I always put the wrong amount of coffee grounds and water in so it’s either too strong or not strong enough and never quite where it should be. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere, not that any of that matters. Read More…

Neither Here Nor There (Or, Can You BELIEVE Those People?)

I stumbled across a website the other day that says it strives for “forward-thinking journalism”, which of course means it far removed itself from true journalism very quickly. Journalism isn’t supposed to be forward-thinking or backward-thinking or any sort of -thinking other than projecting stories to the American people that they need to learn about. Opinions come from them, not from the “journalists” involved. But that’s neither here nor there.

The point is that they throw mud at those who they see as being backward-thinking, just as I’m sure plenty of backward-thinking people had thrown mud at them over the years. The common statement is “Can you BELIEVE those people?” more often than anything else. It would actually be quite appropriate to sum America up with a $100 bill where the US motto is replaced with, “Can you BELIEVE those people?”. But again, that’s neither here nor there. Read More…

Faust, Midas, and Myself (Or, the Creation Process Is Dead And We Can Do Better Than This)

Quite frequently, I take the time to really consider why it is I write. It’s useful to do, primarily because it gives me an answer when people ask me why I do it and I don’t want to look like an idiot. Nobody wants to hear and answer that sounds like, “I don’t know, I just do it” though I can never figure out why that’s not a good enough reason. Why do you breathe? It’s a simple question with a simple answer. If you do not, you will die. So writing isn’t a grand production with a grand meaning. I write to give life to thoughts, and if I don’t, they will die.

Perhaps the more timely or resonant question at this stage in my life isn’t so much why I write, but rather why am I not writing? In earlier, more discontented stages of my life, writing was the only thing I could find to do when I had the time. Yet today, I fill my free time with different things. Less creative things, I guess. Things that don’t have quite as much to do with giving life to thoughts. Read More…

Ain’t It Fun? (Or, The Problem With Our Opinions)

I remember in school being really awesome at our tiny speech and debate class. Part of the reason I remember being awesome was because I genuinely didn’t have any issues with talking in front of people so I appeared to be quick-witted enough to be the best in the class. The other reason is because my school was so small that really as long as you felt like you could talk to people, you were going to do well in the class.

Of course, my school was a tiny private school that was basically a Bible school in a lot of aspects. One of the benefits of this was having a class that was entirely about worldview. This meant that not only did we look into the Christian worldview that the school itself held, giving us a pretty solid understanding of the basics of our background, but also looked into the worldview of other religions. Without this class, I likely never would have read the Koran or any Buddhist texts in my life. Neat stuff.

All that to say this: I may have done well in my debate class, but that doesn’t mean I’m any good at actually debating. That’s because my genuine curiosity into how other people’s brains work led me to other interests. Psychology, for example. And of course, my interest in worldview.

Because of this, I’m really good at explaining things, seeing the big picture, and trying to make sense out of the nonsense around us. Proving a point? Not so great. But what I am good at, I can (as you would expect), explain.

Here are the points I always like to consider when dealing with opinions and the way people view the world. Read More…

Just A Bystander (Or, The World Is A Stage And I’m A Part Of The Crew)

The other day at work, I overheard a woman start to confront another woman about something. I walked by as she was getting started, that’s all. I quickly picked up on the tone of the conversation and sped my pace up a little bit more to get out of there and to my destination.

Later that day, I passed the woman who was on the receiving end of that talk. She was on the phone with somebody talking about the awkward confrontation from earlier in the day. Again, I sped by to get out of that situation and to where I needed to be.

No clue the context. No clue what the issue was. I only saw tiny bits. Enough to know what was happening without knowing any details. Just a bystander who caught a tiny glimpse into their lives. Read More…

Good Will Hunting

I had a conversation with somebody the other day involving the use of a phrase that I like but isn’t necessarily common among others that share my pale skin tone. It was a civil, respectable conversation in which nothing negative was said about any ethnicity or anything, so there was no reason to assume any ill will from the person I was talking with. It was just a conversation about ethnic and racial differences. Probably the type of conversation a lot of us should be having.

Of course, it really got me thinking about what happens when differences aren’t handled well. When people look down upon other people as if they’re worth less or worthless. How there are divides built between people, not just racial divides, that are drawn as a “They started it” sort of thing. Political parties, religious denominations, etc. A constant whirlwind of people declaring that it is not, in fact, them that is to be blamed, but the other party involved. It’s not our fault.

We all want that classic scene from Good Will Hunting to be true for us. What’s odd is that we want to play both roles. We want to be Matt Damon, the one to be pitied and consoled. The one who is actually the victim and just needs to be shown that he’s just as fine as the rest of us. But we also want to be Robin Williams. We want to be the one who makes the declaration. We want to be the one who makes the wise realization of the source of all the issues and make it known to the world.

We want to be vindicated. We want to vindicate ourselves. Self-vindication is a flawed and hopeless system. Read More…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 837 other followers