Sunday, July 26, 2015

Day 102: I Ain't That Practical

I love the world of ideas. Chicago would take backseat to Idea City if one existed.

I love the theoretical and pontificating about hypothetical scenarios based on esoteric philosophies I don't really know much about. Concepts – yes!

I love it all perhaps because I'm contrarian or argumentative. I think I wrote somewhere here that back in the day, when I was like 7, I wanted to be a lawyer. I watched L.A. Law as a kid and envied Harry Hamlin and Corbin Bernsen in their power suits playing out courtroom drama, thus I was also a big fan of HH's role in Mad Men. I loved the fight and I loved the flash. I think it's still there and is about as practical as LA Law was.

And that's just it. I ain't that practical. I am comfortable in the world of ideas, even if all mine aren't well thought out, articulate, or informed. I struggle to get into the world of "how does this affect me today" type talk. If you asked me to teach you how to tie your shoe, I'm sure I'd rather talk about how shoelaces are an example of a way we like to control our lives.

I fee like Frank Lebasky from You've Got Mail who, if he wrote a book, would "write about something relevant for today, like the Luddite movement in 19th century England."

Though my life is filled with a ton of practical decisions each day, I don't know how to draw the connection in my communication with others. It shows pretty clearly in my writing and teaching. I know it because I'll feel like I come up with something really good to communicate and it comes time to provide an actual, real life example, and I'm stuck. Dead stuck. This makes preaching tough. I'm writing a wedding sermon right now and all of it is just straight up ideas floating at 30,000 feet. Thankfully no couple in the history of weddings has ever remembered what the preacher said.

Also, I ain't a steps person. I can't give you "3 ways to a better you." I can give you 3 ways I want to vomit all over that because I don't think it works. And maybe that's it. I just don't like practical advice because, to me, it has no foundation. I don't know the "what" or the "why." That bothers the crap out of me. Yet at the same time I am hard pressed on how to get from the "what" or the "why" to the "how." And we all know the people that do that dominate life. Those peeps who are principled yet practical – JAM.

The only area of life where it is a bit clear to me, where I see the practical, is financially. That budget ish is real practical rooted in solid principles. Boom.

You're asking, "don't you want to know how to be practical so you can relate better to people?" Maybe you're not asking that, but I am. And yes. I want to be the principled, practical person. Those cats that are able to live in the "why, what, how" world are cats I look up to. They are few.

Sadly, the "how do I get there?" thought feels very practical to me...

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