So much rich wisdom packed into a few days…still processing the talks, letting so much of it marinate and soak into my soul.
“The deepest injustice is the misuse of creativity.” –Andy Crouch
“There’s a deeper power than the power to command, it’s the power to create.”–Andy Crouch
Andy Crouch shared about Power in our culture. How power shapes us, can warp us, and some thoughts on flourishing.
He talked about the purpose of power being that it flourish versus that it control. He then asked, “Who is flourishing because of your power?” He also talked about how toxic it can be for all of humanity to become known (potentially overnight in this internet era). He encouraged two positive cultivations of power–both stewarding (or reinvesting privilege) and servanthood.
David Brooks of the New York Times reflected on Humility and how remarkably different the tone of “heroes” was during WWII times and today. While traveling home, he recently heard a story on NPR about the WWII victory, and the tremendously humble and thoughtful response by commanding officers. Minutes later, he was in his living room watching an over-the-top display of victory by a professional athlete scoring a touchdown. He couldn’t help but connect the two to the overall tone and state of our culture now versus then.
“Humility is not low self-esteem, it’s low self-preoccupation.”–David Brooks
Sherry Turkle, MIT professor of Science, Technology and Memoir and author of Alone Together, shared her perspective on our constantly connected culture, and the holes its leaving in true relationship. A student of hers remarked, “We are not as strong as technology’s pull.”
“We have forgotten the difference between conversation and connection.”–Sherry Turkle
Hans Hess, founder of Elevation Burger and EnviroCab, among many other impressive career adventures, represented Organic Entrepreneurship. He lamented the painfully small percentage of sustainable agriculture in our country–only 2.5 %. He linked food prices to oil prices, and highlighted a few of the many problems with the monocultural mentality of food production our industrialized food system has produced.
Hans was insistent about a shift back to polycultural growing practices. He distinguished between food price and value, and urged consumers to demand better food and ultimately shift the market. How ironic, he mused that our health care market is a $1 Trillion market, and yet sustainable agriculture is only a $30 Billion market.
“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”–Hans Hess
Gideon Strauss talked about Principled Pluralism advocating for Uncommon Decency and asked, “What might it look like if we were to marry conviction and civility?” He reminded us that “the glory of God is the human person fully alive.”
Bryan Stevenson brought the heat as he championed Restoring the Justice System. His passion, conviction, and longing for truth were inspiring. I could have listened to him talk all day…A few stats that he left with us:
- in 1972 there were 300,000 people imprisoned in the US, today 2.3 Million
- in Alabama, 35% of blacks have permanently lost the right to vote
- 44 Million people are now living below the poverty level in the US
- 3000 children have been convicted for life in the criminal justice system
- the death penalty is 22x more likely if the defendant is black
“The opposite of poverty is not wealth, it’s justice.”–Bryan Stevenson
“We have to fight for the genuine freedom of all faiths.”–Os Guiness
“I think our central voice should be have no fear.”–Os Guiness
James K. A. Smith was a refreshing voice on restoring action within the church. He reminded us that ideas for the common good will never be enough.
“We act toward what we love.”–James K. A. Smith
“The church has overvalued logic and undervalued aesthetic imagination.”–James K. A. Smith
“Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed.”–James K. A. Smith
Thomas Hinson talked about Preserving Our Hearts. He reminded us all that “there can be no cultural restoration without personal restoration.” He also paralleled leadership to mountain climbing and reminded us that ”the higher you climb, the more inhospitable the climate becomes to life.” He encouraged shelter and personal renewal for leaders in order to flourish.
A lot to chew on – and there was much more – but these are some of the things I keep coming back to. Needing to spend more time digesting. Love to hear your thoughts after reading and pondering.
What reflections do you have?