Category Archives: good faith
My friend, Jennifer, thought of me when she read a New York Times article last week: “No Time to Think” by Kate Murphy. Jennifer thought of me because I am not like the people described in the article—people who are so afraid of being alone with their thoughts they actually administer electric shocks to themselves if left alone with nothing but their thoughts for as little as 6 minutes.
Jennifer is the friend who coined the “Laughing Thinker” phrase I use as part of my bio; I take it as a compliment that she sees me as both profound and happy. I love to think. During the day when I am at home, I never turn on radios or TVs. I live in silent contemplation all day, and I love it.
During the Christmas season I work part-time at a bookstore in a shopping mall. Many of the younger solo shoppers enter our store with ear buds in both ears. I think, “They can’t even go shopping without some din in their ears?” Are they really so afraid of their own thoughts? Apparently so.
Why is this a problem? What does it matter if people shut themselves down? According to researchers, the main reason people don’t want to think too much is they don’t want to dwell on the negative or ruminate on their problems. But if we don’t allow ourselves the time to sort ourselves out, it hampers ability to empathize with others.
Lost creativity is another cost. Murphy writes, “. . . an idle mind is a crucible for creativity.” Thinking about problems outside of reality adds new dimensions to the issue and allows for novel solutions to challenges.
Empathy and creativity melt away so many negative issues. At this time of year, it’s tempting to rush, rush, rush and party, party, party. At this time, some of the negative family, friends and financial stuff we suppress the rest of the year raises its unavoidable ugly head for us to deal with. So, at this time of year it’s more important than ever to foster thinking time.
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger were onto something: Think, think, think, and laugh a little too.
I have never seen an unhappy person at a church bazaar. They just make people smile, and that’s something to think about.
When I finish writing this post, I will wrap up the shortbread cookies I baked this week, put some used books in a box, filter through some of the jewelry I don’t wear any more, and I will head over to help set up for tomorrow’s church bazaar.
Last weekend I spent Saturday morning walking from church to church on a long street in my neighbourhood where the United, Anglican and Catholic churches all hold their bazaars on the same day. They’ve been doing this for years, so “Bazaar Day” is a community event and a much bigger financial success for all three.
Churches hold bazaars as fundraisers, of course, but the annual events offer much more than money to the congregation. They are community-building events and a chance for everyone to smile and get into the holiday spirit.
Bazaars are joyful for many reasons. They offer:
- a chance to meet and greet people from the neighbourhood they don’t see at other times of the year,
- homemade strawberry jam,
- the possibility that you will find the spoon to replace the missing one from your cutlery or a glass to replace the broken one from your favourite wine set,
- an opportunity to refresh holiday decor with the affordable crafts prepared by the talented contributors to bazaars,
- a mixing of generations, old and young,
- the blessing of eating other people’s baking,
- books, (!)
- and a delicious lunch, that includes homemade pie.
If you need a smile, look up your local church bazaars and give yourself the gift of a smiley day.
If you watched the video from my Friday post, this follow-up talk gives a more complete picture of the effects of vulnerability on even the most high-profile “experts.” Brené Brown talks about the repercussions of the first TED talk, and how becoming the “Vulnerability TED action figure”changed her life.
Even she, author of Daring Greatly, had not realized how she had been engineering her life to stay small.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” —Brené Brown
Click here to see her talk:
May those who lived through war and died for war remind us that it demands a price too high, creates hate too long-lasting, and gives back too little.
May we choose words and diplomacy over weapons.