i am chris brown…for now

Everyone’s a Player

“Gutenberg made everybody a reader. Xerox made everybody a publisher. Interactive telecommunications is making everybody a lobbyist and politician.”

Len Sweet on Direct Democracy

And it’s true. Maybe you’ve heard of the little digital tool called Wiki. Or remember when Converse had enthusiasts create and send in 24-second films for the chance to have the best one become a nationally televised ad? Or how Converse allows shoppers to design their own shoes.

We can customize anything we want…not just shoes, but our haircut, what we drink, the players on our team. We no longer have to settle for just “being like Mike.” We can just be him.

Connectivity. Participation. We all crave it. And we’re getting good at it.

July 9, 2008 Posted by | People | , , , , | 4 Comments

4 Guaranteed Ways To Enhance Your Well-Being

1. Eat Lucky Charms for breakfast and dinner.
2. Listen to Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova lullabies while sitting on your porch in 65 degree weather.
3. Grow a mustache (even though this will always prove fruitless for me).
4. Go to bed when your wife says it’s time.

May 12, 2008 Posted by | Goodness, Music, People | , , | 1 Comment

She’s Done!!

I am so proud of my wife. She graduated from grad school this weekend with a Masters in Social Work….(drumroll)….with a 4.0 GPA. Yeah, she’s smart and beautiful. And she’s got the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. I am blessed. She is awesome.

May 10, 2008 Posted by | Goodness, People | | 1 Comment

No Man Is An Island

Thomas Merton’s writings have been some of the most meaningful words spoken into my life. In one book, He takes this concept from Donne, consequently taken from the Bible, and puts flesh on it for me.

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

Summing him up, he suggests that it’s of supreme importance that we not live for ourselves, but for others. When we live for others, we see that we are human. When we see that we’re human, we see that we all have weaknesses and deficiencies. And when we understand this, we see that these limitations actually play a vital role in our lives….it’s because of them that we need others, and others need us. We’re not all weak in the same spots–so we supplement, complete one another.

When we start to see humanity as one organism, one body, we start to see how important our successes and failures and accidents are. “My successes are not my own. The way to them was prepared by others. The fruit of my labor is not my own: I’m simply preparing the way for the achievements of another. Nor are my failures my own…they may come from the failures of another, but they’re also compensated for by another’s achievements.”

It makes sense, right? Lost understands it, Heroes gets it, most of M. Night Shyamalan’s film are centered around it. That stuff resonates with us. There’s something about seeing human connectivity come to life that draws me (possibly myself more than others, which would explain why I was the only one cheering, not booing at the end of this movie).

We’re connected. Like Twitter, only deeper. We’re designed to need each other. You make up for my shortcomings, I make up for yours. You help me succeed, I help you win. We’re here for one another. God designed us like this. It’s better this way.

April 8, 2008 Posted by | God and Life, People | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Apple Knows People

I’m the most awesome man in the world!

I get Fast Company Magazine at our apartment. Not because I have a bit of entrepreneurship in me, but because there’s always something interesting to pull out in the articles.

This article makes perfect sense…and we can learn from it. If you’ve ever been to an Apple store, you know what’s coming when you walk in the door: tons of customers playing with toys, and friendly employee faces that seem to just be hanging out, seemingly not working too hard. Then, as they see the need, they approach you and (1) ask some questions about what you’re looking for (2) ask permission to share some info that could help you in your search and (3) keep digging to find out which product you’d most enjoy. And Apple sells $4,000 worth of product per square foot per month.

The takeaway: “When employees become sharers of information, instead of sellers of products, customers respond.”

Maybe the Church needs to stop selling a product and start simply sharing information. Maybe people actually do warm up to someone who wants to know them for who they are, and not just to shove off some product on them. Maybe God created human beings to be relational after all….and not just robots at your doorstep with a flyer in their hand. Maybe conversations in Starbucks get started easier with your neighbor at the next table when you’re just “talking,” simply sharing life….and not trying to force feed an unsuspecting person a list of why they should be like you.

Jesus seemed to be better at prompting questions and starting up conversations than he was at selling bobblehead dolls and bumper stickers anyway.

March 28, 2008 Posted by | Apple, People | , , , | 1 Comment

On Seeing a Homeless Woman (March 5, 2008)

inside your beauty cries.
cries to be seen. to be recognized.
but i don’t see it,
i can barely look you in the eyes…much less inside.

justice? when it’s convenient.
fairness? not now…others will see it.
no, not today.
i’m in a hurry can’t you see
please don’t bother me.

outside your skin is dry,
inside your beauty cries
cries to be seen, cries to be heard, to be listened to.

and you’ve got stories to tell–
the hand that you were dealt,
the heights from which you fell,
how it sent you into hell.

but, oh, how you’ve seen the world.
not from hotel views or television news,
not from planes or trains,
but simply from your shoes
you’ve seen this world.
and i’m sure you’d love to share those stories…

but i’m too uncomfortable because you’re not like me.

so i let it surface: PRIDE
and now i can’t see past your torn clothes
so i miss the beauty inside.

I Can Turn This World Around
So Help Me God I’ll Turn It Upside Down
Microphone In Hand, I’ve Got So Much Good To Say
But I’ll Just Let Action Come Another Day

March 28, 2008 Posted by | People | , | 1 Comment