Friday, January 26, 2007

small is the new large

i am officially a podcast junkie. i subscribe to over 300 podcasts ranging in topic from uc-berkeley courses on the byzantine empire to current political front-runners edwards, obama, and clinton, to podcasts from emerging communities like mars hill and mosaic and thinkers like doug pagitt and dr. leonard sweet. listening to dr. leonard sweet's podcast, "napkin scribbles" today while working in my office and one in particular has stuck with me throughout the day and transfixed my thoughts. it is entitled "small is the new large" and offers some profound insights into the postmodern fixation with the micro and mini and the observation that all things in life seem to come in single-serving portions (see fight club, book by Chuck Palahniuk and movie by david fincher). sweet makes the observation that the modern fascination with the masses huddling into megachurches is being met with the postmodern idea of small, close-knit communities sharing their lives with each other in communal worship, study, and living. it is really a culture-shift from the decadence of the 20th century to the consideration of the 21st century; consideration in the sense that society is beginning to ask itself questions regarding impact. sweet also observes that the word "big" is and will continue to be linked to the word "bigotry" in more ways than the obvious one. large, big, super-size are all becoming associated with inconsiderate, unnecessary, and unhealthy while the micro and the mini are seen as the wave of the future (see mac and pc ads and steve jobs' recent keynote address) while questions are consistently being raised regarding size to proportion of environmental impact. it is a remarkably simple yet somewhat complex observation and one that i will keep before me as i continue in my spiritual journey towards ordination. please feel free to comment, question, or dialogue. comments are more than welcome. enjoy the sabbath and pray for peace in the middle east, or at least for us not to muck it up anymore than we already have.

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