Friday, July 29, 2011

What makes the blog roll?

Since it's summer, I'm reading a few more blogs than usual. And I've noticed something: controversy, it seems, gets the most comments.

People like getting "up in arms" about issues. In fact sometimes I wonder if bloggers look for issues to get people riled about. Sort of like the news on TV which capitalizes on the gruesome and notorious with sound bites to get you hooked in. The full story is seldom quite as interesting... except when it is more interesting and better read as a full story anyway.

But what concerns me as a person of faith is that in the blogging world we have a lot less grace for people or situations than we would in real life. When people make a mistake we're quicker to think about what a great post it would make, than to try and find out what really might be going on. Of course if I point the finger at the blog that pointed me to this thought I'd be succumbing to exactly the kind of problem I'm writing about. So in this unnamed blog, a known person was called out for a mistake. I fully agreed with the blogger's point -- but as the comments played out, I realized the situation wasn't as obvious as the blog suggested.

In the Conversations Project that our church did, we learned to practice interpretive charity which means what it says. We interpret a speaker's meaning with charity, even when our assumptions about what they said might push our buttons. We ask more questions to clarify meaning, and if we disagree, then we can discuss it, always seeking understanding, not reacting out of our own narrow assumptions.

Unfortunately, interpretive charity doesn't always make for titillating blogging.

Then again, neither does whining about your life and beating yourself up over the stupid things you do... which is another unnamed blog I've had too much time to read (in case you're a digger, it's not one of the sites I follow publicly).

But I'm still going to read all these blogs anyway... and keep writing my own occasionally. My friend's blog title says it all best: My Thoughts are So Important I Write them Down. Check him out -- http://iwritethemdown.blogspot​.com -- when he writes, he's funny.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

These hands

Sometimes, when Chongo is asked what career he wants to pursue, he answers, "a surgeon."

This would be a fine occupation to have, but Chongo says it in jest, not (yet?!) being an ambitious enough student to be looking down the road at all those extra years of study.

But when Chongo says he wants to be a surgeon, I think of one thing: his hands.

Chongo can do the most intricate, minute sculpting with those hands. Like this piece he created out of "green stuff."

But he is ornery. So when I go to take a picture of him working he does this:

And then he replaces himself with his alter ego.

Do they let ornery monkeys be surgeons these days?

When people ask him where he's going to college he says, "Stanford." If he ever becomes a surgeon who went to Stanford, no one will be more surprised than his mother. But with those hands, he could do anything.