April 24, 2007

people’s personal responses

Posted in blogging, church, philosophy at 8:20 pm by weiszguy

A couple of incidents recently have me wondering how much people care about other people’s internal thoughts.

In church Sunday, after a particularly meaningful worship experience, our pastor asked us to respond to God in some way.  We could write a letter to God, write a poem, draw a picture, or any of several other ideas for creative expression.  The tables had all the paper, pens, crayons, colored pencils, and other art supplies we could need.  I thought that was pretty cool, so I wrote a letter to God, describing my response to the worship.  But then we were asked if we wanted to share our responses with the audience.  Only a few people wanted to share, and I found their responses boring and unmeaningful.  My response, however, was articulate and full of emotional depth :)

Obviously, each person’s response to the service was extremely meaningful – to themselves.  Am I then, completely out-of-touch with the average person’s response?  Or is each person’s response so personal so as to be meaningless to outsiders?  Should I take more care to be concerned about other peoples thoughts?  Do other people care about my thoughts?

I am currently reading a book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal called An Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.  In it, in encyclopedic fashion, Amy describes the many facets of being her.  She discusses her emotional response to seeing her own name, for example, and describes the particular method she uses for drying off after a shower, and why she uses that method.  (Which is a very interesting concept for a book.  I might have to borrow the concept and improve on it a little.)

I have a mixed response to this book.  Sometimes, when she is discussing some bit of arcane trivia, I realize I’m much the same way.  Even if my thoughts are a bit different than her’s, it’s cool to realize I have thoughts on the same idiosycracy as the author.  Other times I just shake my head and think, “This woman needs help!  Who on earth would waste their time thinking about such equine effluvia, and why would anybody else care what she thinks?”

If you’ve read this far in a post this introspective and self-aware, you must have some thoughts on the subject.  Please share them in the comments.



  1. Kristen said,

    Maybe that is why so many people are not interested in church, or they cover up who they really are, trying to look like they have it all together – because they are afraid of other people’s “negative” perceptions to who they really are or what they think. I think it’s so important to be open to others and what they think/how they worship, and not be quick to judge – which could make the biggest difference in someone’s church experience. The “spiritual” answer: how would Christ respond to that person? He loved every response that was written on Sunday – because it was all for Him.
    …just a few of my thoughts.

  2. weiszguy said,

    Thanks for the comment, Kristen. As a thank you, I’ve added you to my blogroll.

    I never imagined anyone from that church service would be reading this post, so now I think I should add a detail I left out. Over lunch after that service, our whole family shared what we created in the service. Nobody was very interested in my letter to God. Which tells me a couple things. 1) it probably wasn’t nearly as articulate and full of emotional depth as I imagined it was. 2) people in general find it extremely difficult to get inside each other’s heads to feel what somebody else feels.

  3. Tim said,

    Did you say that that nice women’s book was “equine effluvia”? I couldn’t find effluvia in the dictionary, but I assume this is latin for horse crap? Very funny. My goal for the day is to use equine effluvia in a sentence.

  4. josh said,

    the the book is called An Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal mabe you should get your facts straight before you try mocking someone

  5. weiszguy said,

    I’m having a hard time following you, josh. I spelled the name of the book and the name of the author exactly the way you did. Can you be a little more specific about which facts I need to get straight?
    Second, since your real objection is apparently the fact that I have mocked Ms Rosenthal, could you point to a specific instance of the mocking that you disagree with? I think I have not mocked her at all, except where I have poked fun at myself too.

  6. raginggenius said,

    At my church we took a short class on the DISC personality types. Google it if you are interested. It helps me understand what is really going on with people and how they react in many situations. I am a high ‘D” so I am very decisive, direct, a leader type, and would probably write a straight talk letter to God and wouldn’t be afraid to share it since I am also a Profit. The “S” types are totally shy and woud probably just say “hello Jesus” and run out the door. Different strokes for different folks dude :)

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