I love to read. Unfortunately, I have discovered that as I get older, I have trouble staying awake while reading. I’m not really that old, and in reality, I have had this problem for at least 15 years…ok since college. As a result, I have been reading the same book for 8 months. (it is 1200 pages, just for the record)
To combat my mild case of narcolepsy, I have gradually switched over to listening to audiobooks. Not only do I have about a 30-minute commute to work and 30 minutes home when I can listen, but with iTunes, you can listen at 2x speed, making it possible for me to get around 2 hours of reading done a day.
One of the difficulties with listening to a book instead of reading one is that you can’t underline anything. I was driving to work the other morning and I had to keep rewinding the book, then deciding I should pull over to send myself an email with what I wanted to “underline”.
It was a quote by George Bernard Shaw, a guy who had just about every profession during his lifetime but is perhaps best known as a playwright. Here’s the quote:
“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.”
This hit me like a ton of bricks for a couple of reasons.
I wish people were more reasonable. As someone who has to figure out how to make someone’s ideas a reality, I can easily fall into the trap of wishing they would come up with ideas that were more doable; or ideas that were easier to figure out; or ideas that wouldn’t require me to stay late to work.
If this quote is true, how can I embrace the unreasonable person’s ideas? What if I want to be the one who helps change the world with my ideas? How can I be more unreasonable?
Most of the really amazing things I have been a part of have been unreasonable. If I think back on it, much of the reason why I love to work in production can be traced back to some crazy unreasonable task: an all-nighter, a stupid deadline, being completely outside of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t trade any of those memories for anything, regardless of how unreasonable they seemed at the time. In hindsight, they are the times that I felt like I learned the most and grew more than any other time in my life.
As technical artists, part of our job is to make the ideas of “unreasonable” people a reality; to adapt to the world around us. The other part of it for me personally is to begin adapting to myself the parts of my world that I have been uniquely created to adapt.
For our churches to move forward; for us as individuals to move forward; we need to adapt to our world, and make the unreasonable happen, but how can we embrace the unreasonable so that our organization can move forward?