Dangers of Absolute Answers

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“So I have been thinking that maybe we having been approaching the issue in the wrong way. Maybe they are right in saying that we should listen more to her. What if we–”

“I’m just going to stop you right there. You are clearly so wrong that you should just stop. Now, listen to me explain the right way to think. You don’t have a problem with that, right? Awesome. So I am absolutely positive I am on the right side of this issue. Anyone that believes otherwise is clearly misinformed, and it’s likely they are wrong about many other things. It’s probably just better to write them off entirely. They are beyond help.”

Insert some sweeping generalizations, a few interruptions, and little boost of arrogance and self-satisfaction, and we’ve got it: the perfect recipe for proclaiming an absolute answer.

I think it’s great to know where we stand. Whether it’s our values, faith, positions on politics, or something else. But do we really have to shove our answers, right or not, down the throats of unsuspecting others? Continue reading

From a First-Time Knitter

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Nearly two months ago it was suggested to me that I take up knitting. I really liked the idea of having something at the end of all my work. I was willing to try it out. I set my sights on making an afghan or blanket. My grandmother made dozens of afghans throughout her life, and I thought it would be neat to understand the work she put into making them. In hindsight I realize that it might have been better to start with a smaller project. Oh well.

I found a pattern that looked simple enough, and one day I decided to go out and buy the supplies. I was in a perfect position to be buying supplies, as I knew next to nothing about needle sizes and the different types of yarn. After spending several hours trying to decipher the code of the knitting pattern, I arrived back home, eager to start working on my blanket.

As I reflect on my first experience with knitting, I can see how what I learned connects to other areas of life. Continue reading

Maintaining Moderation

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I recently gave up dessert for about three weeks. It was difficult, to be honest. And I cheated several times. I am now nearly two weeks back into eating dessert. I learned a lot through this experience, and I am still learning.

This post functions as an unofficial follow-up to last week’s post, Participating and Being Entertained. In that post the idea of moderation was considered, but never explored. So now we will do just that.

How much is too much? What does moderation look like and feel like? Is it related to self-discipline? Or is it about the effect of environmental influences? These are some questions I have been thinking about since coming back to dessert. I will focus on dessert in this post, as it has allowed me to think moderation directly impacts my life. However, this is by no means the only thing in which we have difficulty practicing moderation. Continue reading

Participating and Being Entertained

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I like watching TV. I personally like comedies, or shows with a lot of suspense. I also enjoy ones with wacky situations. I find television, movies, and other types of videos to be very entertaining, and viewing them can be an enjoyable way to pass the time. These videos can also introduce us to new ideas, and think about circumstances we have never faced. I also have great appreciation for all of the people who are involved in making videos. It is neat to see the result of their hard work.

I used to watch quite a bit of videos, especially television. I still watch some, but a lot of the shows I followed have recently ended. This was exciting because I did feel at times that I was watching too much. But it was also puzzling, because I had more time on my hands. With less of my time dedicated to watching television, I have been able to devote more time to reading, writing, and getting outside.

Today, it is pretty easy to find new movies and television shows to watch thanks to several online video streaming subscription services. The key word here is easy. Clicking things is easy, sitting on a couch or lounging in a chair is easy. This makes sense. Watching television and other videos are a couple ways lots of people like to relax and spend their leisure time. However, I have some concerns about the amount of video content we view. Continue reading