Saturday, March 27, 2010

living a meaningful story - this week.

I like Don Miller, and this book intrigues me. It's on my summer reading list.
I read this post a month or so ago, and it's been bouncing around my brain since then.

It makes sense. I've lived in a lot of different settings - cities - houses - areas - with very different people. I've worked at a lot of different jobs. I still often go to new workplaces, parties, churches, hospitals, venues, cities, conferences, classrooms, seminars or meetings where I need to understand a whole room of people and a whole new context - and blend in.

A little while ago, Jarod and I were talking with some people we know well. It was about comments they'd made - we found them pretty hurtful, because they were generalizations about certain cultures... and we had to ask them "Do you realize you're talking about the culture of our friends and the people we work with and go to school with? Those things you're saying aren't true."

It was a weird conversation. But it led to a good outcome... they talked about how they realized by talking to us how limited their experience has been, and how their initial comments were based on a lack of understanding.

It makes me hopeful. Being people who have experiences - and tell our stories - helps other people understand how to get outside their own box. And at the same time, listening to others' stories is important.

Failing to hear stories and keeping a limited perspective keeps us back in so many areas. Sure, we may hear theory about career options or taking your vitamins or whether public transit works or safely using power tools... but if there's no context, talk about any of that stuff is just information.

But when you talk to the PR specialist or you're walking alongside someone with osteoporosis or taking the subway or seeing a severed finger reattached.... you've got an image. You've got an experience. You've got a story of your own now. That information becomes real.

So I want to keep having more experiences, doing new things, getting into scenarios and going places that give me more stories - whether that's the story of learning to use the table saw with the wooden hand or what kind of trucks they use in Florence - or just how I made spaghetti sauce in university. All of that is part and parcel of the stories I have so far. I want more. I want better. I want new. I likely have several more decades to gain and pass on more of them and I like Don Miller's words on creating memorable scenes and going to different settings.

1 comment:

chRistine said...

that's an interesting perspective.. i'll have to consider that. and while one of my recent posts is about how reading "christian books" leads to 'biblical illiteracy", i must confess that i do enjoy reading donald miller and his take on things.