Scott Adams on the limits and benefits of others assessing our abilities, from his own experience with the cartoon, Dilbert:
The two opinions about your abilities that you should never trust are your own opinions, and the majority’s opinions. But if a handful of people who have a good track record of identifying talent think you have something, you just might.
Justin Taylor’s rewording for Christians:
Callings…should not discerned by the individual alone (autonomy) or everyone (democracy) but rather by good counselors (a trusted community).
Interesting article about attention to the hierarchy of information, data, knowledge, and wisdom at Rands in Repose titled, A Story Culture. The point: people like stories, and synthesis-ability (wisdom) produces the best stories.
The construction of a story has very little to do with writing. It has to do with the semi-magical process of you taking disparate pieces of information, combining them into something new, which includes your experience and understanding, and then giving them to someone else.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot: why write if the people I know/who know me aren’t reading? In other words, what would make someone who doesn’t know me want to read what I wrote? Friends and family are often satisfied at the information and data levels. The shared facts, even if nugatory, fit into an already informed narrative, so need to connect the dots is a low bar. Students may get by with data and knowledge. And if not, we can pass the blame by telling them it’s their fault for not being interested. But the stranger/distance reader wants wisdom or he’s gone.
The value of the idea is one part that it is yours and one part that you gave it to someone else. It’s you and something new.
The closing line was good, too.
In this digitally distant world full of information that appears to only be moving faster and faster, you get to choose: how much will I consume and how much will I create?
My take-away: in order to create more (interesting things/stories), I need more work and more wisdom.
Last week, George Packer wrote an article titled, Stop the World, for The New Yorker. Though I use Twitter, I still enjoyed his old-media world cynicism, as well as his unwritten call to consider how much we imbibe.
The notion of sending and getting brief updates to and from dozens or thousands of people every few minutes is an image from information hell. I’m told that Twitter is a river into which I can dip my cup whenever I want. But that supposes we’re all kneeling on the banks. In fact, if you’re at all like me, you’re trying to keep your footing out in midstream, with the water level always dangerously close to your nostrils. Twitter sounds less like sipping than drowning.
And though the following is perhaps alarmist, maybe there is reason for some alarm after all. If Twitter (or Facebook or anything) keeps us from living on unseen things, it’s no longer good craic.
Who doesn’t want to be taken out of the boredom or sameness or pain of the present at any given moment? That’s what drugs are for, and that’s why people become addicted to them. Twitter is crack for media addicts. It scares me, not because I’m morally superior to it, but because I don’t think I could handle it. I’m afraid I’d end up letting my son go hungry.
Two messages by Paul Tripp at the 2010 Desiring God Pastor’s pre-conference seminar.
The Pastor: Who Do We Think He Is Anyway?
Ministry is war. That war is not fought in programs or finances. It is fought on the turf of your heart.
The greatest danger to the church of Christ…rests in the heart of the person that stands in the pulpit.
The Pastor: Not Yet Perfect, Still Under Attack.
If you are aware that there are incongruities in your public and personal life, then seek help. You are not designed to do this thing by yourself. Your ministry is a community project.
If God doesn’t rule your mundane, then he doesn’t rule your life.