Afraid to engage…REALLY???

The new Culture Monk logo, an exciting day for me!

The new Culture Monk logo, an exciting day for me!

By Kenneth Justice

~ At coffee over the weekend I ran into a dude I hadn’t seen in a LONG time; in his early sixties, married, with two adult children, and styling a mess of grey hair, this dude dropped out of the whole church scene and opted to start his own little home cult church. Along with his wife, one of his adult children and their spouse, for the past decade this dude preaches from his living room sofa to his audience of three adults, I guess they don’t believe in the whole mega church thing.

The dude doesn’t care for me much which always surprises me since I’m pretty laid back, “So are you still speaking your s*&t?” he asked

Are you still preaching in your underwear?” I retorted as I wondered why he doesn’t like me

All the churches of the world are evil and I am the only one who preaches the truth! And clearly you are still living in your heathen ways!” he said

The simple fact of the matter is that a lot of people don’t want to be around others who challenge them. It’s easy to live in a bubble when you isolate yourself, as the proverb says, “He who separates himself seeks his own desires

Yet if we’re going to be honest, the way we grow intellectually, spiritually, and philosophically is to engage others in conversation. Even better is to engage others who are actually every bit as smart and witty as ourselves,

—–) To become the greatest athlete one should compete against the best athletes

—–) To become a great artist hang around other great artists

—–) To become a great writer engage other great writers in conversation

—–) To become a great philosopher hang out with the Culture Monk (okay, maybe that was a little self-serving)

Although its common knowledge in the athletic world that competing against the best helps you become the best; this little tid-bit of information seems to have escaped much of the scientific, political, religious, philosophy, and academic worlds. For some reason, in those fields we see some of the greatest degrees of insulation and “bubble living” among their community.

—–) In politics it’s rare to meet a politician who hangs out with the little guy in everyday life

—–) In academics it’s rare to meet a professor or college dean who hangs out with their graduated students in real life; the fruit of their academic experience resulting in a an extremely high percentage of ex-students who are unemployed or underemployed

—–) In religion it’s rare to meet a pastor or theologian who hangs out at bars, coffee houses, and among the homeless on a regular basis in order to see what life is like for the average person

—–) In the scientific world it’s rare that a scientist doesn’t end up sending me a nasty email when I dare to question their philosophy; many scientists live in a bubble and don’t take criticism very well

I have been fortunate for the better part of my life to sit at coffee house tables that are almost always crowded to overflowing; rarely a day goes by that someone doesn’t challenge my opinion. As far as insulation goes I take vacations as a way of temporarily living in a little bubble because for the most part my entire life is a glass house; I’m constantly surrounded by people whom I love and respect dearly and who are never scared to challenge me to my core.

Yesterday I received four phone calls from different friends who wanted to chat. I thrive on community. I grow through the interaction I have with my friends and acquaintances. When I consider who I am as a person, I owe everything to those friends in my life who have been at my side through thick and thin.

Let us never be afraid to engage, and if ever the day comes that we are; perhaps it’s time to reevaluate our positions.

Just a few thoughts as I finished my coffee this morning,


Categories: Culture & Society

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

43 replies

  1. Oh, amen! I seek out some likeminded people for emotional support, for back up, but my best lessons come from those I disagree with. Engaging with others is extremely important, either to sharpen your own beliefs or to learn new things.

  2. I like the new Logo. Looks like someone was kind enough to give you their last Rolo.

  3. I’ve been meaning to ell you – LOVE LOVE LOVE the new logo. (Love this topic too)

  4. Sounds like you are very fortunate. What if one cannot engage ? Does that make them defacto afraid? Cuz it kind of sounds like if one is not afraid to engage then all sorts of engagement will happen. This is simply not the case. So you are very lucky.

    • I think the Internet has become a great way to engage for those not used to doing it in real life 🙂

    • Yes. So it seems one should present with out fear if engagement, but whether anyone takes the offer does not reflect upon the courage of the presentation — but maybe upon those who thereby don’t engage with it ? Lol. But it seems you are very fortunate to have a group with whom are ready and not afraid to engage.

  5. Very interesting Blog! Thanks for sharing, god bless you 🙂

  6. Love the dialogue. Would like to hear more about this character and his tiny ministry.

    • Ha! Well I know a dozen or so dudes just like this one…. but I’m a bit hesitant to get into too much personal stuff for fear of retribution on their part…. they tend to be really nutty….. but maybe I will expand on the conversations I’ve had with them

  7. Just found your blog on the recommendation of a friend and it’s just as awesome as He said! It’s funny, we had a guest pastor who preached on so many of the same issues. When we have a teachable spirit, God takes us to unimaginable places.

    Among other things, I serve as our City Prosecutor. We were having an issue at a local corner store and so I asked my police officers to drive me out there and they were shocked. I got out of the car and didn’t really say much, just took it all in. Later I walked over to a group of men- some smoking, some drinking alcohol others with mental health issues and I opened my mouth, “Let’s pray.” And we did. And I spent a morning of fellowship with them and came back several times after that. It was amazing, and needless to say we stopped having problems at that corner store- go figure!

  8. I love your stuff. I feel like using it in my comp class as the book for their essay writing, eh, composition writing.

  9. Cool Logo! Unfortunately, I’m not becoming a philosopher 😆

  10. I’ve been away from the blogging world for a while and haven’t read any of your posts recently. I am always pleased with what I read form you. I’m glad I got on today.

    It has always baffled me how Christians want to isolate themselves from other Christians. I know that every church isn’t with out fault but we are created to be social beings. We learn from each other. I know that my walk with God has thrived because of the churches I have been a member of. There is something to be said about having a wide range of Christians of different ages and walks of life to help us gain perspective and insight. I don’t know where I’d be with out the examples of others. And yes even the bad examples have helped me learn and grow. If it wasn’t for those who cheated, lied, fell away from God, or what ever else I would not have learned from their mistakes. I wouldn’t have seen the destruction and hurt they caused making me strive to not let that happen in my life. I think people use other peoples mistakes as excuses for their own mistakes. Why not look at them as learning experiences and grow in your own life?

    I may have strayed away from your point…but I just had to get that out.

    Thank for sharing your thoughts.

    Have a great day.

  11. “To become a great philosopher hang out with the Culture Monk (okay, maybe that was a little self-serving)”

    Self serving as it may be, I think it is a good idea for everyone to read your blog.

    And certainly being a blogger is a great way to not live in a bubble. Higher relevance will result in finding the truth about those we are relevant to.

  12. The potential of engagement (This phrase sounds like a good barometer for the blogs that I enjoy reading.) is what draws me to your blog. I appreciate that you post thoughtful, often provocative and engaging posts and that you are not afraid to put your beliefs out there, without shying from debate. Granted, you are right about the bigwigs and professionals who reject anyone’s views but their own. Yet, it is the little people that concern me.

    One of the problems in our society is that for many of us “little people,” we no longer engage with one another and agree to disagree. For some of us, our beliefs are shaped by some unknown, pompous figure seated on high. It is their way or the highway, and that is no way to engender community. In that type of environment, one is ridiculed and becomes the subject of name-calling and worse, simply for stating his or her views. (I know, because it happened to me recently.)

    Anyway, thanks for creating a space that encourages respectful engagement. It is a breath of fresh air.

    Blessings, lydia

  13. Just in time post giving me direction as to a confrontation that I should not avoid!

  14. I think religion in particular is a bubble because people are often instructed not to question the rule of their church. The mere act of asking a question can be wrong. And what if some of those big spiritual leaders don’t believe the same thing you do? People don’t think of religion as something you grow in or improve in. It’s simply fact or fiction.

  15. How far do we engage with the underwear preachers of the world? I guess there could be different goals

    1. Convince the other person or yourself that one of you is mistaken – humans don’t do this well

    2. Learn something from each other – this is probably the most unpredictable and magical, because what you learn is unlikely to be what you expected.

    3. Chip away at your own veneer of delusion – this is probably the most practical when it comes to underwear preachers. While you may not succeed at 1 or 2, you can at least by extrapolation reflect on how we ourselves can be mad(wo)men.

  16. That’s a terrific logo! Who did the artwork for you. A few months ago, we created a new identity at our ministry and invested in a quality design firm. They produced a beautiful logo at Truth in Love Ministry. It was well worth it! I hope it works for you — and I think it will. Keep up the good work.

  17. When you bounce your bubbles against other bubbles, there is where magic happens. When you insulate your bubble from others, there is where a limp pop eventually happens. We need more bubbles!! 🙂

  18. Merci … plus que cela Kenneth x

  19. Love the new logo!

  20. I definitely love to chat!

    Great post, I have never thought about it but I resonate with your questioning why the athletic world seems to be the only ones embracing the interaction with those at the top? Perhaps as in athletics it is physical and mental ability that is tested? Not sure…

  21. I have noted that people from my past, especially ones whom feel that I am in competition with them do not like me either. Maybe this is why he doesnt care for you..A true friend as said will be there thru thick and thin.


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