by Kenneth Justice
~ “Kenneth I can’t believe it…..the soonest he can hang out is sometime two months from now!” he said
I was hanging out at coffee last week with a friend of mine and we were talking about my upcoming Drinking in the Culture Tour. My friend was telling me about this good buddy of his and how much he wants me to meet him before I begin my tour. “Kenneth, he would totally love this coffee shop tour you’re going on and would want to hear all about it”
Unfortunately, when my friend called his buddy he found out that the soonest the friend could ‘pencil him into his schedule’ to hang out would be sometime in a month or two.
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first example of friends ‘scheduling their friendships’ that I’ve seen in my life. Many years ago I called up a friend of mine to see if he wanted to get coffee together and he told me that he was really busy with work and family responsibilities, “Kenneth, could you call me back in three months?” he asked…….I never called him back; that was 15 years ago.
I’ve run into that guy at weddings and birthday parties over the years and every time he see’s me he comes over and gives me a hug, “Kenneth, man, I miss how much we used to talk and hang out together…..you should give me a call sometime so we can catch up” he says…….I never do.
Am I being stubborn? I don’t think so. The simple fact of the matter is that all of us make time for the things we really want to do in life. Did my friend really not have a mere hour to hang out over a 3 month span; I think he was exaggerating.
Look, I understand the need to be organized and to schedule certain things in our life in order to not feel overwhelmed with all of our day-to-day responsibilities. I’ve used a photo today of what my Culture Monk virtual post-it board looks like. I use an APP on my I-Pad called ABC Notes and any time I have a conversation with someone that I think might be worthwhile to write an article about; I create a little post it to help me remember the details of the conversation……..organization helps me remember.
However, too much organization can be a bad thing.
—-) Too much organization can kill artistic creativity
—-) Too much organization can hurt friendships
—-) Too much organization can destroy spontaneity
Take for instance family life. Can you imagine a father or mother that ‘schedules’ time with their little children? Imagine saying to your 7 year old; “I can only hang out with you on Monday at 6PM“. What kind of family dynamics would that look like?
Sure, I understand that for many couples scheduling a ‘date night’ helps them to stay committed to having one night alone each week………but let’s be real; all those date nights will pale in comparison to unadulterated spontaneity. Sometimes its fun to simply get in the car and start driving. Sometimes its exciting to have no plans and to simply see what the night will bring.
One of the common complaints I get from people about church is how they say it feels less and less like ‘community’ and more and more like a bunch of meetings. Instead of church being a positive social time of interaction, a time of really connecting with other people…..too many churches have turned their focus toward endless meetings.
Organization and schedules are are goods tools…..but don’t we have to be careful not to allow these tools to overwhelm our lives and kill the uniqueness of the moment?
Too many things in Western Culture are changing society in ways that appear to be negative. When I sit in a coffee shop and watch people enter; 5 out of 10 people walk through the door with their eyes glued to their phone……is that a good thing? Besides the awkwardness of when they bump into each other because they are not looking where they are walking……what is all this ‘looking at the cell phone’ doing to the spontaneity of human interaction?
I don’t have a problem with scheduling times to meet with friends. In preparing for my Drinking in the Culture Tour, I’ve been spending the last week working on a fixed schedule that I can post of dates and locations in order for readers, bloggers, and everyone else in between to meet me when I arrive in each city. Schedules are a good thing. BUT, don’t we need to be careful that schedules aren’t running our lives? Shouldn’t we leave a little time open for a little spontaneity? Weren’t some of the best times you’ve had in life totally unrehearsed?
I’m late on my coffee this morning because I’ve got so much to do….my plane leaves in a little over 24 hours and I’m a tad bit excited.
Categories: Culture & Society