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Posts tagged "Expectation"

Generosity Devoid of Expectations

Generosity Devoid of Expectations

As we approach Thanksgiving, we enter the season when a lot of us start to think about volunteer opportunities for our family. Perhaps we’re trying to inoculate our children from the entitlement that can creep in with all those holiday gifts. Or perhaps we’re trying to give back in a spirit of gratitude for all we’ve been given. Or perhaps we’re trying to put some muscle where our money is, as we dole out charitable gifts before the end of the tax year. Whatever our reasons, this time of year seems to be when a lot of us look to…

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A Mockingbird Guide to the World Cup

A Mockingbird Guide to the World Cup

I was nine. It was the summer of 2002 in the early hours of the morning that the US shocked Mexico in the Round of 16 in the World Cup to advance to the quarterfinal. The excitement was electric. Nobody had expected it, but the cries of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” filled the room. It was the best the USA has ever done in a World Cup.

The World Cup is a sporting event like no other. It ignites more passion than any other, and it starts in less than a week. I realized that this is only the sixth World Cup I’ve…

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Another Week Ends: Reciprocal Favors, Atheism's Biggest Challenge, The New Yorker Profiles Francis I, Declining WASPs, Social Media Christmas Cards, Ascendant Meritocracies, and Simon Pegg

Another Week Ends: Reciprocal Favors, Atheism’s Biggest Challenge, The New Yorker Profiles Francis I, Declining WASPs, Social Media Christmas Cards, Ascendant Meritocracies, and Simon Pegg

1. New Year’s Resolutions: we’ve said about all we’re going to say concerning a yearly ritual of personal bootstrapping, but some great articles this year from Tullian Tchividjian (on the spiritual side of things), from Woody Guthrie’s Sermon-on-the-Mount-standard life guide (pictured below), and finally, a wonderful Quartz article about how to make resolutions you can keep. After long study, they basically reverse-engineered the historically Christian approach to behavior change, from one perspective:

Losing weight, drinking less alcohol, and spending more time with family tend to top New Year’s resolution lists—but they are also among the most commonly broken resolutions. Although about 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, only 8% of us manage to achieve these goals…

I have…

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Another Week Ends: Grand Theft Auto, Angry Net Users, One Way Love, Self-Helpy Great Books, Anti-Altruistic Kickstarters, and More Breaking Bad

Another Week Ends: Grand Theft Auto, Angry Net Users, One Way Love, Self-Helpy Great Books, Anti-Altruistic Kickstarters, and More Breaking Bad

1. For starters, Grand Theft Auto V is out! (If you need a strong case for dabbling in it, go here). Kill Screen posted a doozie of a review, provocatively titled, “Grand Theft Auto 5 channels the violent, lonely minds of men, especially mine“, ht SZ:

I shudder with recognition… at the bleeding edge of reality in Grand Theft Auto V. I am both delighted and disturbed by how much I see elements of myself, and of everyone I know, in the narratives of the three protagonists: Michael, Franklin Clinton and Trevor Philips.

That statement doesn’t look too good, for my health or for…

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Previously on Parenthood: I Thought I Could Do It All, but I Can’t ...

Previously on Parenthood: I Thought I Could Do It All, but I Can’t …

This is a little tardy since the most recent episode of Parenthood (“There’s Something I Need to Tell You …”) aired over a week ago, but I—perhaps like many of you—typically watch shows online several days later. Nevertheless, this is a follow up to a recent post regarding new developments in the Braverman clan. I am really enjoying season 4 for all its insight into human nature (and relationships, and suffering, and grace…), and this time I want to highlight what is happening with the Julia Braverman-Graham, the hard charging lawyer in the family played by Erika Christensen.

Spoiler alert: Don’t…

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Another Week Ends: Crimson Despair, Teacher Expectations, MJ's Bad, Improvement Narratives, Neil Young, Neurospeculation, The Master, and Conf Update

Another Week Ends: Crimson Despair, Teacher Expectations, MJ’s Bad, Improvement Narratives, Neil Young, Neurospeculation, The Master, and Conf Update

1. An incredibly moving account of “Depression and Despair at Harvard” in response to the suicide of a classmate by Jordan Monge on The Harvard Ichthus. With real vulnerability, Monge touches on the crushing power of expectation, the vicious circle of shame and fear, the grace of defeat, even the toxic and tragic way Christians revert to the Law, post-conversion. It’s a courageous testament to the reality that we are not saved us from pain, but in and through it, ht AZ:

via indexed.com

Admitting my weakness feels like admitting that I am not good enough to bear my own name….

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A Harry Potter Heresy? In Defense of Draco

A Harry Potter Heresy? In Defense of Draco

Who would think of naming someone other than the belovedly scar-ridden H.P. the hero of J.K. Rowling’s famous tales of witchcraft and wizardry? This is precisely the claim coming from the mouth of Jason Isaacs, who plays Lucius Malfoy, father of privileged bad boy and Slytherin typecast, Draco, in the film adaptation of Harry Potter. Don’t curse us just yet, Gryffindor. Isaacs’ comment isn’t meant to derail the entire Potter fantasy, nor take away from the golden child that is Harry Potter, but to reinstate the luster lost within a character so commonly perceived as sinister. Isaacs sheds light [Lumos!]…

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Calorie Postings = Worse Health?

Calorie Postings = Worse Health?

In an article dripping with Mockingbird insights, a study of New York City found that posting calorie counts at restaurants does not change people’s eating habits. In fact, the survey found that eating habit were made worse by the calorie postings. The article says that “For customers in New York City, orders had a mean of 846 calories after the labeling law took effect. Before the law took effect, it was 825 calories.” Knowing the right facts enough to change people’s desire for tasty grease and sugar. Many of the respondents that were interviewed acknowledged the intense pressure to eat…

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