Changing the Way We Think
As we wrap up 2021, how do we want to approach next year better?
Hey Friends, welcome back for this final edition of 2021.
First off, thanks to all of you who’ve either emailed me or told me you’ve been reading along. It’s really quite humbling. As I’ve told most of you when you’ve said something and I’ll repeat a touch now, my main goal here first and foremost was to give some direction to my urges to dig deeper than I had before into subjects.
I’m by no means an expert on any of these subjects, but that shouldn’t stop me (or anyone) from trying to learn. In my experience, the best way to learn is by doing. By reading and researching widely, working to mash these ideas together, and then writing things from those mashed together thoughts, I’ve grown deeper in my thinking about these subjects and I hope that by reading along your thinking has deepened too.
As most that know me well know, I am not a favorite picker. That said, a few of my personal favorites have been:
Additionally, I want to take a moment and give another shout-out to Diana Holder. Some of you may have seen her pop-up on the author line a couple of times but every week she hops in and tells me if what I’ve written is crazy and for that, I’m forever grateful. A few of her favorites were:
Thoughts for Pondering
So, setting here looking back at the past year, what are some things to take away from these explorations? I have a few thoughts:
We mostly think about how we use tools to shape our world, but in reality, we are always being shaped by the tools we use. Sometimes those tool choices are between a phone call and a text message, and sometimes they are between different metaphors for love. In the end, that choice shapes us by framing the outcomes we can have. How can we become better at choosing more helpful tools?
We love to talk about what “the media” does to society, but we don’t spend much time personally reflecting on these impacts. How we are contributing to the societal things we all rail against?
In an effort to better grasp and control our lives, we try to resolve the tension by putting things into boxes. We make maps that reduce the complex world to something we can understand. This is a necessary shortcut, but still a shortcut. How can we better deal with the tensions of the modern world without resolving them in ways that give us an unhelpful understanding of reality?
I could go on, but I think those are some great questions to ponder as we take a break here.
Changing the Way We Think
I titled this post “Changing the Way We Think,” quoting a passage from the Christian New Testament in the book of Romans:
…Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.1
I think the New Testament in whole presents a very hopeful message for us here. There’s going to be lots of stuff going on in the world, some of which I will be able to impact but most of which I won’t. But the transformation for me starts by being transformed into a new person by changing the way I think. The scripture there uses passive language, but through some divine mystery, there is an active role for us to play in this. While the world at large feels like it’s tumbling, there’s a freeing sense that change can happen when I begin changing the way I think.
I’ve kept this newsletter mostly free of my religious views, but I hope in this Christmas season, you’re able to find peace by beginning to change the way you think.
As always, I welcome conversation and emails. Thanks for reading along.
It’s my intent to be back in January, but it might be February? I may send out a short something here and there, but I do plan to be back with more “medium form” content in the new year. For now, if I don’t see you, I wish you all the best over this Holiday Season.
Notes and Further Reading
Today, I want to give you some things you can maybe watch as well. I have a few Youtube Channels that I’ve never gotten around to featuring that I really enjoy. Here are a few of my favorite videos from each. Note that most of these are pretty long, and can be good background watches while doing other things.
These two should be watched in this order: