This post shows two different schools of thought (close-mindedness and open-mindedness) in how our worldviews affect how we live our lives. The post is not necessarily one cogent thought; but I believe if I don’t spell everything out you can take time to think about parallel instances in your life…if so desired.
I agree with much of what I say, but not everything. – Peter Rollins
Way back in the euphoric days of college, I listened to a great speaker who was an extremely compelling speaker. What made him compelling (besides his topics) was the creative way he intertwined media with his talks; he kept all of us on the edge of our seats wondering what he would include next. The speaker had the ability to use books, movies, and music to evoke authentic responses from the audience. He would use clips of “Braveheart” when appealing to the guys and then use clips of “Sense and Sensibilities” when appealing to the girls. (granted some girls are going to say, ‘hey, I love “Braveheart!”, which very well could be true, but in most instances it won’t affect girls like it does guys – the same is primarily true in reverse for girls relating to “Sense and Sensibilities”). I digress…the way he used clips was not done in a cheesy, manipulative manner, but in a manner that required pause for reflection. Now, I do not want to compare this post to the quality of what he did, but I am going to attempt to make use of media in a similar manner as him. Movies, music, and books are profound motivators and powerful platforms in our society
This is a clip from one of my favorite tv shows, “The Big Bang Theory”. The primary characters are Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Raj (Kunal Nayyar), Penny (Kaley Cuoco), and Howard (Simon Helberg). There is also a guest star Leslie Winkle (Sara Gilbert). You might recognize Leslie and Leonard from the tv show “Roseanne”. The show is about genius friends who with all their quirks have to live life together in a somewhat manageable community while they process their relationships from their own scientific, logical worldviews.
The premise of the first clip in this post is to talk about how our inability to consider alternatives might close off more perceptive ideas and ideologies than what we think we know, or at the very least our close-mindedness might prevent us from learning more about other points of view. View the youtube clip from minutes 3:50-4:40 (I’ve included the full text of the conversation below this whole post – which includes a section of the discussion that was not included in the clip.)
This next clip is from my all-time favorite movie. “Dead Poets Society”. It speaks of branching out and viewing things from a different perspective.
And finally just some quotes from C.S. Lewis’s, “The Great Divorce”.
“Ah, but we must all interpret those beautiful words in our own way! For me there is no such thing as a final answer. The free wind of inquiry must always continue to blow through the mind, must it not? “Prove all things”…to travel hopefully is better than to arrive.’” pg. 40
“Before me green slopes made a wide amphitheatre, enclosing a frothy and pulsating lake into which, over many-coloured rocks, a waterfall was pouring. Here once again I realized that something had happened to my senses so that they were now receiving impressions which would normally exceed their capacity. On Earth, such a waterfall could not have been perceived at all as a whole; it was too big. Its sound would have been a terror in the woods for twenty miles. Here, after the first shock, my sensibility exulted. The noise, though gigantic, was like giants’ laughter: like the revelry of a whole college of giants together laughing, dancing, singing, roaring at their high works.” pgs. 45-46
My closing thoughts:
Sometimes we are sure in what we know and in what we want and in what we believe, and that might be ok, at times, but if we don’t at least have the humility to say, “I agree with much of what I say, but not everything.” then we might be setting ourselves up for a lot of tremors in our worldviews. Personally I’d rather travel hopefully than to call it all off because we can’t agree on loopy or non-loopy space theories.
(full text of conversation from “The Big Bang Theory”)
Sheldon: I will graciously overlook the fact that she is an arrogant sub-par scientist who actually believes loop quantum gravity better unites quantum mechanics with general relativity than does string theory.
Leslie: Hang on a second, loop quantum gravity clearly offers more testable predictions than string theory.
Sheldon: I’m listening, amuse me.
Leslie: Ok, well for one thing we expect quanti-space time to manifest itself as minute differences than the speed of light for different colors.
Sheldon: Balderadash. Matter clearly consists of tiny strings.
Leslie to Leonard: Are you going to let him talk to me like that?
(Leonard with a baffled, helpless look on his face)
Leonard: Ok, well there is a lot of merit to both theories.
Leslie: No there isn’t. Only loop quantum gravity calculates the entropy of black holes.
(Sheldon giggles under his voice)
Leonard: Sheldon, don’t make that noise it’s disrespectful
Sheldon: I should hope so it was a snort of derision.
Leslie: You agree with me right? Loop quantum gravity is the future of physics.
Leonard: Sorry Leslie, I guess I prefer my space theories not loopy.
Leslie: Well, I guess I’m glad I found out the truth about you before this went any further.
Leonard: Truth, what truth? We’re talking about untested hypotheses…look, it’s no big deal.
Leslie: Oh, it isn’t? Really? Tell me Leonard, how will we raise the children?
(keep in mind they’ve been dating for 1 evening)
(Leonard and Sheldon with extremely baffled looks on their faces)
Leonard: I…I guess we wait until they’re old enough and let them choose their own theory.
Leslie: We can’t let them choose Leonard; they’re children!
(Leslie storms toward the door)
Leonard: Wait, where are you going?
Leslie: I’m sorry. I could’ve accepted our kids being genetically unable to eat ice cream or ever get a good view of a parade. But this? This is a deal breaker.
Sheldon: Look on the bright side…
(and he attempts to proceed to bring levity to the situation)