Browsing All Posts filed under »discourse«

Handle an illusion, shyly.

January 7, 2019


We are often faced with the challenge of choosing between two goals that we cannot often achieve simultaneously; making a point, or making a difference. Both of those are attempting to transform a mind from some sort of illusion, some sort of captivity. I find Kierkegaard’s words tremendously wise to this dilemma: There is nothing […]

The best questions emerge, not from ignorance, but from deep understanding.

January 1, 2019


There is, of course, merit in asking questions to gain knowledge, a first step. But the more you understand, the more profound, complex, and challenging your questions become. Life is perplexing, confusing, complicated, and full of paradoxes. Questions about those deep structures of the universe only arise from understanding them in the first place. Why […]

The value of criticism is not found in what it denounces or condemns. Criticism’s value is found in its being imaginative and prophetic in its evaluation of our possibilities.

July 12, 2018


Criticism–and it’s noun “critique”–is frequently understood as negative, that its only existence is to be oppositional to the dreamers and the optimists. Criticism is also seen as an enemy to progress, or the mere pessimistic expression of despondent peoples. Criticism is rarely seen in positive light. In fact, many delight in proving the critic “wrong.” […]

A mature person is someone who is not easily offended.

February 3, 2017


offended |əˈfendəd| : “resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult.” mature |məˈCHo͝or| : something has “fully developed” or has “reached an advanced stage of mental or emotional development.” Therefore, someone who is easily offended means that they have not reached a level of mental or emotional development capable of understanding that […]

Labels are a distancing phenomena. Don’t use them.

August 12, 2015


Labels can be descriptors, but never identifiers. Labels tell you what you perceive, not what is truly there. Labels don’t tell stories, and people are stories in motion. Labels halt listening, the fundamental act of humanizing our species. Let us set aside labels and do more listening.

It’s called, “the freedom of speech,” not “the freedom of slander.”

February 13, 2015


Stated anecdotally, I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. – Evelyn Beatrice Hall It is the difference between what we want to say (impulsively, individually, with self-righteous justification) and what we ought to say (what is necessary and proper in accordance with good judgment, […]

If you understand less, then learn. If you understand more, then teach.

October 28, 2013


But do not be an ass, an imbecile, or a recluse. This is the way of human progression.

Don’t ask, “What should I say?” Ask, “Which story shall I tell?”

June 23, 2013


Giving talks, messages, sermons, etc., is a complicated and daunting task that is made such by the paucity of original ideas and the taunting plainness of a blank page. It is therefore perhaps better to replace the common, “come up with something to say” with “choose which story to tell.” What does this require? 80% […]

A debate is suppose to be clarifying, not caustic.

July 26, 2012


In listening to many debates, it appears that the vast majority of them platform conflict and argument. In the most innocuous form, the debate format attempts “fairness” giving equal ground to opposing sides. Ultimately, the goal is to argue these sides whoever is more persuasive (or loudest) “wins.” This “win” is a “lose” in my […]

Don’t review books you haven’t read.

July 26, 2012


Don’t review books you haven’t read. Don’t review books if you’ve only read reviews of books. Don’t judge people you haven’t met. Don’t confuse good “judgment” with “condemnation.” Don’t debate theology on Facebook. Don’t tweet revenge. Don’t yell. Don’t demonize. Don’t use Hitler in an argument. Don’t claim to know the truth until you’ve declared […]