Are you a Generous Mind?
Sunday, March 30, 2014
As I thought about Cathy's tweet, I decided to write back with this addition, "You are known by what you share." While what you read ends up making you who you are, what you share is what defines how people know you. It will paint you as a radical, a friend, an intellectual, a humorist, a profane person or a person of great principle.
As I considered this idea, I thought about the fact that we can shape how we are known by what we choose to share. Are we sharing on particular issues? Maybe we have a cause that drives our Generous Mind. Or perhaps we are sharing about family and friends and that is what defines our generosity.
Whatever we share, we need to be aware of the huge impact it will have on our reputation. Now, that should not be the reason you share things, but it is one of the results of being a Generous Mind. The more you share, the more people have insight into what you are reading, thinking and doing -- thus the more insight they have into who you are!
Sunday, March 23, 2014
When someone is being generous with their ideas, they are usually taking something from the world and presenting their own ideas or thoughts about it. They are riffing off of something and adding perspective that only they could bring. How we respond to their generous gift will significantly impact their willingness and ability to share in the future. With that in mind, let's consider Noah.
The story of Noah has many details and very few all at the same time. We see great detail about the things God wanted us to know such as Noah's character, the size of the task, the reason for the flood and the care for God's Creation. But for some reason, God chose not to tell us much about the rest of the people Noah was living amoung. Beyond our knowledge that they were very evil and that they mocked Noah, we have little info.
So as the creators of the new movie sat down to develop a script and bring it to life, they had a big challenge. The medium of video is all about dialogue and interaction between characters - heros and villians. In the story of Noah, those elements are fairly thin. So the writers began to imagine what it might look like and have brought to the viewer one interpretation.
If they truly had good motives and were trying to share an honest perspective of what Noah might have lived through, then their script should be considered a generous gift and part of an ongoing dialogue about this important story.
I'm not saying that this perspective on the story should be taken as Biblical. Instead that it should be taken, with generous hearts, as the efforts by a certain group of creatives to share what they think might have happened.
Generous Minds need the freedom to share what God gives them to share and to know that they will not be judged for the sharing. Now, we can have great discussions about their perspective and approach. We may find it helpful and others may find it far from the mark. But the ability to allow someone to share what they think might have happened and speak into the global conversation is crucial.
Will you allow the creators of this film that opportunity?
Sunday, January 26, 2014
This is common sense but it escapes us so often. How could we have the space and forethought to share our ideas when we are rushing to appointments, cramming for tests or thinking about 20 other things besides the people we are standing in front of? The answer is, "It isn't possible." Being a Generous Mind requires margin in our lives.
This point was brought up by an executive of an organization that we have been talking with about our Generous Mind Mentoring Program. As he thought about the opportunity and his current life situation, he responded that he did not feel like he had the margin necessary to do it justice.
We are so glad he was in tune with his life and current situation to recognize his lack of margin for the mentoring process. And at the same time, his comment brings up a very important issue.
If we were to poll each of you reading this post today, most would say the same thing. So the questions is, "Is it ok for us to be living lives with no margin for generosity?" The answer, of course, is no. But the solution is not so easy. The reason for our answer is very simple - our lives our too busy.
But the busyness is not easy to get rid of. Our economic models, social circles and personal/professional growth trajectories have created lives that require breakneck speeds. Slow down and the wheels come off. That means that our lifestyles are only sustainable without the margin we truly need to be generous.
There are no easy ways to slow down your life because inserting the margin will require tough life choices. But if someone were to try it, one thing is for sure . . . they would have time to tell someone about it over coffee and may just inspire another person to make the switch.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
I walked away from The Ragamuffin film which depicts the life of Rich Mullins sad and thankful. Sad because I ask again, “Why God? Why then? I needed him.” And thankful to the man who made such sacrifice to sing of God’s furious love to a generation of suburban brats like me who were raised on the need to perform.
If the goal of the movie were, like a medley, to make you long for the real thing, then the film was a success. But with a medley you have the ability to turn that longing into i-tunes downloads. My desire to see Rich Mullins again—to hear him laugh and sing—is not so easily assuaged.
Watching the film is like seeing someone that reminds you of a friend. Maybe a cousin or a brother—you search for signs of your friend. You see an expression, a gesture, or hear a voice inflection, but he is not there. I realize that my expectations for this tribute film were not only unrealistic, but impossible. I was looking for a resurrection. I miss the man who wrote the soundtrack to my adolescence, and though I logically knew from the outset I would be disappointed, I was hoping to see him again.
Well-acted for the most part and wonderfully researched, Ragamuffin gives insight into Rich’s life. The depiction of Brennan Manning and his influence on Rich connected many dots for me. The actor who played Rich did a marvelous job on many levels, but I thought the roughness of Rich’s character was overemphasized. I remember Rich as grown out, but combed; tattered, but clean. He was rough around the edges, but not jagged. I don’t remember his hair detracting from his eye contact. When I met Rich backstage once, he looked at me as if I were the only one in the room—even though he never met me before.
But the thing I most miss is Rich’s laugh—and his ability to feel love and beauty and joy as deeply as he felt pain. The film team was able to capture Rich’s ability to feel deeply, but only on the cloudy side—like Johnny Cash. I miss the fun I saw Rich have on stage and the teamwork he fostered among the band members. I understand that humor is difficult to harness, and done badly is terribly embarrassing, but Rich was funny, and I miss that.
My thanks to the team for their hard work and diligence on this project. Please don’t take my disappointment as a reflection on your job well done, but simply a sign that I miss the real man, as I am sure you do too. Your film helped me remember him, but I should not expect to see this generous mind until I pass through the portal to the immortal. I will be excited to thank him for going before me in life and sharing the lessons God taught him through joy and pain.