12 October 2010

Insiders & Outsiders: Pt 1

In preparation for talking to insiders about outsiders, and how outsiders view the machinations of churches and organisations that forget why they exist and evolve into self-perpetuating shells of their intended organism, I've been listening and reading.

Reading can be a form of listening, if you truly tune in to the viewpoints of the writer or the quoted third party.

Prayer can also be listening, but often it's more of a wish list gone awry. But then again, using the word prayer is a way of talking to insiders, those who speak the language of religion. before it was called prayer, it was called "talking to God." Actually it was crying out to God.

Well, what we have recorded in the first written testament of the Christian's Bible is that in Genesis 2 & 3, Adam & Eve walked with God and talked with God and everything seemed pretty informal and nice.

It's only in Genesis 4 that they started calling out to Him. That to me suggests some distance, but I'm only reading it in English cause I don't know Hebrew which seems to be the language God spoke to Adam & Eve.

The other listening I've been doing is called eavesdropping. I'm not sure if it is polite or not, but people talking loudly should expect to be overheard. In cities, people live in very close proximity to each other and seem to carve out their own idea of personal space. They talk on their cell phones with seemingly no consciousness that other people can hear them.

How horrible it would be for permission to be granted for people to use their cell phones in airplanes! No way to get away from the shouting gossips who think everyone else wants to know everyone else's business, even if they have made up more than half of what they are telling!

I digress. There I was talking about the benefit of eavesdropping and then I complain about loud conversations in public transport! Fickle me.

A Hangover
Listening in to guys bragging about their last night of partying, and the horrific hangover that followed, suggested to me that the partying was okay, the hangover was miserable, but the retelling of the story is great fun. The process of the story being laid out also told me a great deal about the temperaments of the guys at the table. The storyteller was constantly checking to see if the others were hanging on his every word. The polite friend smiled and nodded and made a good audience. The other friend offered to go for drinks, food or whatever was needed. Hmmm.

Outside a Pub
A group of friends collected on a corner outside a pub. A couple met and greeted a guy who came on his own. Then another couple came and two ladies ambled up. Some of the group went inside to see if there was a table ready. Two ladies stayed outside and had a whispered conversation about the night before. Seems there had been a sleepless night due to anxiety, paranoia, and a busy mind. A comment about monitored drinking coupled with fatigue left the sleeping potential of the next night in doubt.

Taxi Drivers Awaiting a Fare
Then there were the taxi drivers gathered on a corner near their long line of idle cars. The smoke curled up in to the air, as did their complaints of boredom, money worries and lack of prospects. Much of the conversation was in English, but the accents varied in thickness of origin.

Who were the outsiders? Who were insiders? Who formed the boundary and who maintained it?

How would any of these people feel in your organisation, your church or on your turf?

No comments: