Friday Link Love

Just a few this week: Shakespeare in Celebrity Voices (youtube)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8PGBnNmPgk]

This has been making the rounds---impressionist Jim Meskimen does Clarence's speech from Richard III with a few dozen voices. It's just fun.

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Tinkering in the Studio

Neat picture of Buckminster Fuller, and some fun thoughts from the Improvised Life folks on tinkering, which has been a Sabbath activity for our family this year.

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Ten Mindful Ways to Use Social Media

Good list. One example:

5. Experience now, share later. It’s common to snap a picture with your phone and upload it to Facebook or email it to a friend. This overlaps the experience of being in a moment and sharing it. It also minimizes intimacy, since your entire audience joins your date or gathering in real time. Just as we aim to reduce our internal monologues to be present, we can do the same with our digital narration.

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America Avoids Vacation

Some 25 percent of Americans and 31 percent of low-wage earners get no vacation at all anymore, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

and yet:

Performance increases after a vacation, with reaction times going up 40 percent. Vacations cure burnout, the last stage of chronic stress and something very difficult to shake. Burned-out employees are a major liability to effective performance.

She also argues that many people avoid a truly restorative vacation (as opposed to a go-go-go one) because of the emotional upheaval and examination that can occur when we stop and spend time with our crazy selves. She gets dinged in the comments for this, with people saying "I don't take vacation because I don't have the option to do so, it's not some bogus woo-woo spiritual thing!" I think both can be true---many people don't receive vacation benefits, and others receive them but don't feel like they can take them. But I also think there's a lot of numbing going on.

What's your experience? Do you receive vacation benefits? Do you use them all? If not, why not?

Have a good weekend everyone!

Generation Gap among Pastors: Some Anecdata

Recently I was with a group of pastors and we were talking about activities we found spiritually nourishing and restorative. We generated a long list, both stuff we did and stuff we wanted to do but found it hard to make a priority (sadly).

All of these pastors are talented, dedicated people. All are folks you'd probably enjoy being around. I know I do. Here's what I noticed: when it came to the list of spiritual practices we cherished, the Boomer-aged pastors listed things like daily scripture reading, mission trips, and group Bible studies---churchy activities, all---and the younger pastors (Gen X and younger) listed those things, but added stuff like attending plays, connecting with friends (in person and [gasp!] on Facebook), and doing art.

There are a number of different ways to take this. Here's a non-exhaustive list:

1. It was a small, non-representative group and there is no broader trend. 2. Older pastors, who've been in "the system" longer, don't feel as much permission to be expansive in their view of spiritual practices. (Is it a surprise that the younger pastors are the ones who brought up S-E-X as a way of nurturing one's spirit?) 3. A related possibility: the further along you move in your career and the further "up" you go, the less time you have for stuff that's considered superfluous. (Let's face it, scripture reading does have a personal benefit, but it also has direct utility for your congregation.) 4. Young pastors have a particular gift for connecting a broad set of creative and cultural activities to the life of the Spirit.

If it's #4, I am encouraged about the future of the church's ministry and mission.

Discuss.