Monthly Archives: April 2011

I like to have intellectual conversation with people. Even if the two or the group of us aren’t fully sure of what we argue, it is rewarding to press each other to be genuine to our claims, and to relent when we realize that truth is no longer found in our argument.

However, I hate when people sound stupid when we have these intellectual conversations. The point of intellectual conversation is not to sound intellectual. It’s nice to sound intellectual, but that shouldn’t be your goal.

One of the most common things said by people trying to sound smarter is “stress”.

Stress?! What are you talking about exactly? “I think Paul is stressing the importance of Jesus in this passage.” Does Paul have stress over Jesus? What does it mean to stress a point?

I guess it works. You can stress a point. But it just sounds so wrong and ugly. I want to stress this, I want to stress that. For me, it’s poor style, and if you want to be cool, you need to have style.

Therefore, the next time you are engaged in intellectual conversation, do not use the word stress. I suggest that you use the word “emphasize”. It’s more accurate, has only one meaning, and has more syllables (which actually makes you sound smarter instead of sounding stupid).

I can’t emphasize enough how important this is for you to be cool.

Also, I realize people don’t usually try to be cool when in intellectual discussion. Sometimes we are at a loss for words, but then that is where love picks up the slack.

I don’t get time to blog much anymore, but I have a very short thought that I’d like to share with you guys.

One day, I opened up my Youtube to see that my Youtube crush, Clara Chung, had affiliated herself with something called One Day’s Wages. I’m very familiar with the concept; my InterVarsity chapter practices it so we can add to our funds for the school year. However, the video made me realize the novelty in giving up one day of your wage.

It’s one day of pay — one day out of the 30,000 or so that you might live. If you’re a well-off, or at least comfortable, American, then you can surrender one day of your wage. It’s not going to hurt you, and it’s going to do so much for someone else — especially if that collective capital is used correctly and efficiently.

But what’s stopping you from giving up just one day of your wage? I think we are in a mindset that has conditioned us to consider how much we can give up before we become negatively affected. This assumes that we are in rightful possession of whatever we can gain, and that we are solely autonomous over what is ours. It makes sense if you consider evolutionary history: what you catch to eat is yours to eat. That’s how we think, right? If I work hard and earn money, that’s my money, and I can do with it whatever I choose.

I want to suggest, however, that, perhaps we aren’t in rightful possession. What if we began to think like that? Instead of being materialistic and hoarding our resources, we would begin to live in an opposite lifestyle. Instead of only thinking, “Yeah, I could give up one day of my wage,” we would also think, “How many more can I give up?”

A friend quoted to me an oft recited maxim: “There’s always room for one more leaf in the bag.” What if we thought that way in light of giving up a day of our wage? There’s always a little less we can live on. I want to suggest that perhaps we should start living like that. It will take habit and training, but life is habit and training.

Lao Zi says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”