"Think with your eyes and feel with your ears"

Malcolm Gladwell was on "Late Show" with Stephen Colbert not long ago. Colbert asked Gladwell why he was making a podcast when he is more than able to sell books and is quite popular in the world of popular writing. In response, Gladwell cited his friend Charles (I cannot catch the last name) who said, "you think with eyes and feel with your ears." 

There is a little back and forth here between the two while Gladwell attempts to make his overall point but here is the interview in full to consider:

While Colbert has a point that there are times that we "feel" deeply when we read a book or a poem. I would argue that the times we are emotionally moved by a text is when we allow it to "speak" to us and we "hear it" in our souls. However, Gladwell's point is getting at there is so much conveyed in sound that is lost on a page. You don't catch the nuances that come though when someone is speaking about something that is at their core. Sure you can read a sermon, but it is much different to hear a sermon.

For instance, this is the video clip of the moment that Gladwell mentions that will forever be remembered from Colbert's previous interview: 

Notice Munoz's voice and pauses and pacing and tone. There is an emotion and a feeling that one cannot get by just reading the transcripts. 

At risk of sounding like a technology curmudgeon, when we prefer to use text over voice as a primary communication then we need to understand what we are loosing. The gains in productivity we may get in "texting" another are perhaps by way of sacrificing the emotional connection we build when we talk to one another. 

I am not sure how one would go about tracking if the rise of text communication is inversely related to the decline of empathy but there are interesting studies that explore the decline of empathy.

We may be getting smarter but we may also getting "the feels" less often. 

Best use for your cell phone at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving means a lot of things, but it also means it is the National Day of Listening. It is the day that you are invited to interview a loved one and hear from them some of their story and life. Recently, StoryCorps put out an App for your phone which comes set with all you need to conduct your own interview. It is easy to do and will take about 8 minutes if you don't know what you are doing to get the hang of it.

Even if you don't use your cell phone to record a great conversation with a loved one this Thanksgiving, it is my hope that you will join me in not only giving thanks but opening our ears to listen to others. 

God knows we could all use a little more listening these days.

Is the Church outdated or just in a position to leap frog?

Join me on a variation of the Kevin Bacon game.  

Bo Sanders puts up a video  to prime the pump for his worshiping community.

Later puts this quote on his blog which is the overall point of the video: 

In technology, when you fall enough behind on your updates, you can actually trap yourself with the inability to update. This is the definition of irrelevant. The christian spirituality that is employed in much of the North American church may be in this kind of danger. I am nervous that we are looking to get resources (updates) from sources (servers) that don’t exist anymore.

My friend, also named Jason, reads Home brewed Christianity because both he and the site are way cooler than me. 

Jason shares the above quote and link with me via the outgoing means of internet communication in the next 15 years - email.  

With all that said, I hope you read the quote because it is a captivating metaphor. I only wish I could hear more of Bo Sanders'  thoughts on how this metaphor plays out right now. 

And while I try to put some flesh on Bo's metaphor I think about Africa and cell phones. Namely I think about how in Africa countries were so far behind the technology that they do not have phone lines. For a time, perhaps, it may have looked like Africa would be unable to upgrade to new technological advances because they were without the basic infrastructure of phone lines. 

However, these parts were able to leap frog phone line technology with the advent of cell phones. Now having phone lines is a thing of the past and parts of the world do not have to deal with this dated technological infrastructure. 

These two metaphors toss and turn in my head. Is the church in danger of being so outdated that we cannot even access tools from sources that do not exist any more? Or is the Church more in a position to leap frog over some things because the pace of change happened too fast for the Church to get build phone lines?