August 21, 2008

I Learned a Lot This Week

My wife has a friend visiting from out of town, who is in with her almost 16 year old daughter. I have learned a lot this week. I learned that the Jonas Brothers were some DVD that was coming out at Target this past Tuesday. After learning this, I saw the "Brothers" were doing a cover of a Beatles tune, Hello Goodbye, on the Target commercial. (The thought of asking if she knew that was a Beatles song, or if she even knew who the Beatles were crossed my mind and was quickly squelched. A negative answer would have been too depressing). I would have probably seen the commercial without the previous factoid, but it would not have the same impact if I was not under the gentle instruction (and slightly high pitched squealing. It hurt my ears, good thing the dogs were outside) of one excited teenager.

I also learned something else. I didn't care. How about that? Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against these guys. In fact, I know almost nothing about them. They are just not on my radar screen, sorry.

But it did get me to thinking that there is a whole plethora of information out there that I know nothing of and probably care an equal amount about. It is amazing how much we can know about our little circle of life, and how little about so many other circles. I seem to know especially little about those circles being drawn by the generations following me up through the journey of life.

Not knowing all is not bad, it is just survival. You cannot know everything in a burgeoning Information Age. Ironic, isn't it? The more that is available to be known, the more readily accessible it is, the smaller percentage of the sum totality of knowledge we actually hold. With that smaller percentage of total knowledge there seems to be a greater responsibility to focus on your worldview (Christian in the case of mine) and see what information is at there that is in alignment with it and more importantly, cuts against it. Not necessarily to change it, but to defend it intelligently. Not to know what is important to those who follow after us is to run the ever increasing risk of becoming marginalized in the world. You cannot defend a position if you do not know what you are defending it against. And I mean defense (an apologia (απολογία) in the Greek) in the context of giving a reasoned explanation for your position, not just an argument.

While I might need to be very selective as to the circles I plug myself into, I do need to be more aware of what is out there, how it impacts my world and others around me. No conservative Christian bubble for me, however, I do not think I will be travelling in the Jonas Brothers circle any time soon. I am just too square for that circle. But I may go to iTunes and download some Beatles music for my iPod.


ryan said...

I had heard much of the squealing over these guys. When I finally heard them perform I was none too impressed.

They are Christians, though, and I think their dad is a pastor.

I think you're right that we will never have all of the information, but to me, it's important to be able to engage with everyone about something and typically the best way to do that is on their terms.

In short, I would rather have shallow broad knowledge than deep narrow knowledge in most cases.

Andy C said...

Ryan: I agree with your point that it is better to engage someone on their terms as opposed to your own.

That is why I will make more of an attempt to understand the circles outside my own better than I have in the past.

John said...

You know what Andy? You need a gravatar! goto and create one (so you can have a cool looking avatar everytime you post a comment on my blog... and a lot of other places too!)

create a manga one if you want...!

John said...

Beautiful gravatar.