Saturday, September 13, 2008

Perspectives on Minorities

I've begun a study on what's happened to second generation Christians, something I refer to as symptoms of silver platter faith. Not a formal study, mind you. That would take the fun out of it. But merely observations, some discussions with friends who are passionate about animated debates, and some reading to add the opinions of people somewhat more credible.

Not unique to my generation, but definitely a huge factor is an obsession with being in the minority. It comes from an innate need to be special. If our ideas or opinion match another, we fear we'll go unnoticed. Yet if they have to match (because of course there are really no new ideas), we match the person who has a reputation for being in the minority. Or we aim for the least popular vote. Or we seek a comment that will achieve the highest shock factor.

And if we have caused our friends to gasp, we feel have achieved some higher insight or understanding. This somehow grants us the right to look pityingly at our friends, smile, and shake our heads.

In my diagnosis of what has happened to second generation Christians, I blame the Christian schools, the youth groups, the Bible colleges, and any other isolated organization in which Christians interact solely with other Christians. Because if we are to satisfy this need to rebel against the norm, well...the result is obvious.

I'm not ready to burn down my school for the higher good. Don't get me wrong. Nor am I advocating that we send our children to public institutions. I think that would raise a whole new spectrum of problems. But I believe strongly in exposure to and interaction with the "real world" (and I use the quotation marks deliberately because the definition is so subjective). On a side note, it's interesting how both the Christian world and the unsaved world have a concept of a real world which is distinctly different than their present world.

Being in a secular environment now, I'm finally experiencing my role as a minority from a different perspective. I'm viewed as abnormal, an extremist, and naive. I've been called a liar (because no one can really be content), and I've been scrutinized suspiciously. Yet I also enjoy the exotic side of being the minority. My political views, my faith, my convictions and standards, my perspective as a whole is basically a novelty.
For the first time, I guess I can say, it’s fun to be conservative.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Kodak Moment

Valinda's first day of school.

Shelly's first day of school.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Done List

Yes, I have a list too. I'm constantly adding to the list: Things to do before I die. I'm a huge advocate for putting check marks on my list. I like to dream big, but I like to see things move from I wish into reality. I don't list the impossibles. Going to the moon is not on my list, neither is running for office in a presidential election. I'll never have the satisfaction of checking them off, and that would just depress me.

I'm not posting my Things To Do list. Maybe another time. Maybe not. This is my Things Done List. And there is already a beautiful check mark by each of them.

  • Taking a canoe down an African river
  • Climbing the Eiffel Tower (3 times)

  • Hiking in the Swiss Alps

  • Eating snake

  • Kissing the Blarney Stone
  • Climbing an active volcano
  • Observing a surgery in a third world country
  • Helping deliver a calf
  • Bottle feeding a lamb in the Pyrenees Mountains
  • Seeing the original Mona Lisa
  • Diving off the side of a schooner into the Carribean
  • Seeing the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean
  • Snorkeling under the "Pirates be warned" rock
  • Sleeping in a jungle
  • Listening to a stalactites pipe organ
  • Touring the Palace of Versailles
  • Skydiving