This is a FABULOUS 15 minutes of thought provocation by Frank Chimero (a graphic designer, illustrator and teacher in Portland, Oregon) from a recent design conference. Don't worry if your drawing skills are similar to my 6th Grade stick figures... it's not about that. Frank masterfully explores the enormous issue of turning the mundane & indifferent into something vibrant that, if achieved, can change our lives and the world around us.
It's easy to see how changing how you see your the world translates much further than the world of design. It effects communication, personal effectiveness and (from a Church perspective) how we seen genuine cultural change as motivated by God.
"We don't teach people how to see the world. Before you can really communicate, you must first learn how to see. If you change how you look at the world, you see new and different things. Learning to see is about perception and that is a deeply personal thing hidden deep inside us. We know how to respond to bad things. Somewhat so with good things. But hardly at all with neutral indifference."
I think one thing that Christianity has going for it, is that it does challenge people about how they look at the world. Some do it in a healthier context than others do, but it does go down this rarely traveled road. The bad news is that people often STOP creating and "unfolding" at a point. Even within this fertile context and commission, (that should produce explosive creativity, given our audience and access to the One who created the universe) stifling apathy and indifference sets in.
"Can we milk goodness out of indifference? We all have our own design problem that we're all faced with daily. How do we see the world around us? Perception is malleable (DEF: capable of being altered or controlled by outside forces or influences) . We can make decisions about how we want to respond to what happens around us. We have exactly what we need... no more no less."
The idea that we already have everything we need either leads to goodness or indifference... very easily too... depending on the variable of human response. It's extraordinarily Biblical too. 2 Peter 1:3 speaks to our full equipment pack. " His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." The way we define prosperity at Freedom House is having everything we need to do what God's asked us to do. In this manner... we have to choose whether or not we will actually see the world for what it is and play in the playground. That's the freedom we DO have if we choose it.
"Noticing is finding the invisible amazing. Being a tourist inside your own life. Having soft eyes. Almost like you're finding little love notes everywhere. Framing is alchemy... turning the mundane into the exceptional just by putting it through the process of perception. "
Noticing and Framing are VITAL to the communicator as well as the designer. It's the difference between actually being able to make people comprehend and WANT what you're talking about... or not. Audre Lorde famously said, "There are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt." EW Howe, around the turn of the 20th century wrote this "Ventures in Common Sense"
"If we can't transform the mundane into the exceptional I think it's very sad and stupid. We are not here to be bored. Indifference is a curse. Worse actually because it's self-inflicted."