Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the metaphorical scale hand

I was having a conversation with Taylor Hughes yesterday at a basketball game. As usual we were having an in depth discussion about an insignificant topic, so while we were debating the different theories behind time travel, a pretty interesting concept was brought up. Surprisingly it had absolutely nothing to do with time travel, but it's still interesting. Here's the question:

When people use their hands and do the whole metaphorical scale hand analogy to talk about weighing out different options, is the hand that ends the highest the one they are choosing, or are they supposed to choose the hand that is the lowest?

The reason this is so confusing is because you could argue on behalf of either hand. I mean the hand that's the lowest is the hand that weighed the most, because obviously the side of the scale that sinks is the side that had the most weight placed on it. So in the metaphorical scale world, wouldn't the fact that the substance placed in the hand that sank signify that there was something about that substance that made it the most important? And if that is true, then wouldn't the decision represented by the hand that sank also be the decision that carried the most weight, making it the best decision?

But at the same time, the hand that is highest is "on the top". Think about all the energy that would be used to reach down and pick up the decision resting on the lower metaphorical hand. Not to mention the fact that if you picked the decision on the lower hand you'd have to carry around the HEAVIER of the two objects, which would be more of a burden than if you had selected the higher of the two metaphorical scale hands. Obviously if you had to choose two things to carry around all day you would choose the one that weighs the LEAST.

So I guess what it all boils down to is this final question: Is it the pros of the substance placed in the metaphorical scale hand that causes the metaphorical scale hand to sink, or is it the cons of the substance that causes the metaphorical scale hand to sink?

We may never know.. but I think I've landed with the highest metaphorical scale hand being the hand in which the best decision is resting.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

5 tips to winning a high school election

I was googling some different things and ended up finding this site giving advice to people running for high school elections. There were lots of cool slogans people could use and that sort of thing, but I thought it'd be cool to share my opinion on it all. This year I'm Student Body President at Rossview High School and have run many many times for student council elections.

Let me clarify very quickly for our cynical readers that I in no way claim to be an expert on this subject, I do, however, have experience.

Here's 5 tips on winning a high school election

1. Give a good speech.
So many people try and load their speeches with their own "responsibility testimony" or something. Instead of that approach, make your speech short, to the point, and cast vision for what you're going to do differently once elected. I'd say 90% of the time in high school elections the person who appeals the best with their speech wins the election. If you're not funny, don't try to be. The last thing you want to do is try and make a joke that is over people's heads. You'll stick out to people more if you're up there less. Just be succinct. Honestly how many high schoolers do you know that like to listen to speeches?

2. Campaign during lunch.
Lunch is the one time during the day when all genres of kids show up together. Use that time to spread the word that you're running and gain momentum for your campaign.

3. Don't make promises.
People like to say "don't make promises you can't keep.." I'm proposing not to make promises PERIOD. By all means talk about things you want to change, but avoid being cliche as much as possible. Lameness is one thing that you can't afford to be associated with. Whatever you do, never say the line, "I'm not going to make any promises... except that I'll do my best and work my hardest if you elect me...."

4. Say your name multiple times.
I can't tell you how many people have told me they would have voted for me if they could have remembered my name. When you go to give your speech put it in there two or three times if you have to. Even if you go over board people will remember you, and when they go to vote they're going to pick a name they recognize.

5. Be nice the other 180 days of the school year.
In all honesty you could give Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream" speech and be a jerk to everyone the rest of the school year and you'd lose the election. Don't be fake, be nice the whole year... not just at election time. Campaigning starts now, not a week before the election.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

defining a god thing

A popular phrase that gets tossed around in church world a lot is the phrase "God thing". A God thing is when something happens that can't be explained and it becomes apparent that God was behind the scenes working everything out. Real God things are very incredible and can really change people's perspective on who God is, but I think the church as a whole has started to become too quick to label stuff "God things".

I don't want to publicly criticize anyone in particular, so I'm going to try and be careful with this explanation, but the reason I started thinking about this whole "God thing" idea is because of a recent use of the phrase that I thought seemed a little skeptical. There was an event that had been planned for months and about a week or so before a few details hadn't been worked out yet. Thankfully everything ended up working out and the event was a success. After the event was underway and all systems were functional one of the leaders of this event made the statement, "man.. it's just really a God thing. We had a lot of last minute details fall through on us and I'm just so pleased God worked everything out to his glory.."

I don't mean to be judgemental or criticize the intent of this person's heart, but it seems to me like this is an example of where the phrase "God thing" is not exactly relevant. A God thing is when something unexpected happens and God works everything out in a supernatural, unexplainable way; not when the person in charge is lazy and neglects the responsibility that GOD gave them, and then manages to throw something together at the last minute and the final result is just ok.

God things are amazing miracles... not an excuse for poor planning.

Bottom Line: Leaders in the church world don't get to work less and not stress over details simply because they're expecting a God thing; a Godly leader does everything to his or her ability and then lets God work out what they have no control over. A detail that was never thought through is not a detail that can be rescued by a God thing.