Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Holy mischief in an age of fast faith

Today at work we received one of our many subscription magazines. This one is a little different than most – “Geez Magazine – holy mischief in an age of fast faith” (Summer 2007 edition). It’s very present day generation of faith and church, but in particular I found this article (I use the term lightly) very interesting.

Paradigm* Stabilizers
1) Keep Busy
2) Keep moving; travel as much as possible, and when you do, find familiar restaurants.
3) Find the most efficient route to work, to school. Then don’t stray from the patterns.
4) Mingle with like-minded people; void cross-cultural, inter-racial, trans-class encounters.
5) Make smart financial decisions; consider market forces natural.
6) Don’t do anything foolish; avoid awkward situations; avoid danger. Get various alarm systems.
7) Avoid people who talk to themselves.
8) Think nasty thoughts about SUV drivers.
9) Watch TV, movies; migrate to four-cornered screens of any kind.
10) Like the average North American, spend 90 percent of your time indoors.

Paradigm* Shifters
1) Allow yourself to be thoroughly, extraordinarily, radically bored. Resist the regular hustle of daily life. Who knows what you might learn.
2) Play with children; dream with the elderly.
3) Write a poem; learn a new craft or art form; resist the temptation to compare your work with others, especially with stuff in stores and galleries.
4) Go dumpster diving or second-hand shopping; see old as new. Better yet, reverse the exercise; bring items back to the thrift store.
5) Clean up after others the next time you use a public bathroom. Taste the humility in the process. Brag about this to friends; just kidding, monitor your self-righteousness.
6) Talk differently. Maybe slow down your phraseology. Or insert the words “like” and “totally” several times in a sentence; pay attention to how that makes you feel.
7) Study history.
8) Forgo the trip to a less-industrialized country. Meet new immigrants from that region; listen to their stories, assist as needed. Or, hand out with marginalized people in your community.
9) Pick up a book by an author with whom you strongly disagree and read it with interest.
10) Visit a church from a strange denomination. Better yet, visit a new faith (or no-faith) group and embrace difference.
11) Shave your head. Wear the same clothes for four days straight. Or keep the store-tag on your shirt if you buy one new.
12) Watch your TV for 15 minutes with it turned off. Read only words written by women. Eat from another person’s plate in a restaurant.
13) Put your fork down between every single bite and really eat.
14) The next time a telephone solicitor calls, veer from the script. Aim to humanize the encounter, ask him where his office is located; ask her what the weather’s like there.
15) When a clerk or sales rep hands you a savings coupon, hand it back and say, “Oh, I don’t need that, I have too much money already.”


Which side do you fit on?

I think I’m a combination of both …. What does that make me?

<*Paradigm - A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.>

1 comment:

spark and foam said...

I talk to myself, generally things like "I hate those SUV drivers, but I don't envy them, for I have too much money already." this makes my test difficult to grade.