The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

Doing Good and Being Good

I'm sitting at work with, for the first time in a long time, nothing to do. Oh wait, I do have one less-than-five-minute project. Otherwise, I'm just waiting for my various projects to come back requiring my attention.

So, here I am back to blogging.

I bought and built my first piece of IKEA furniture this week. It was a pretty cool (of course, I have great taste, and I chose it) shelving unit, about 5 feet tall and made of up of 16 cubes in a 4x4 configuration. It will be very multipurpose, holding books, clothes, and various other shelvable items. At five feet tall and black-brown, it's a formidable structure in my room--like having a Medieval executioner standing around, masked in a dark cloth, tracking my every move.

Okay, not that formidable.

My new roommate left today. Not for good. I'm not that bad. His brother left last week; now, he's gone for 5 or 6 days. So I'm all alone. My sister and her husband are on a midwest roadtrip and meeting up with my parents in Kansas City this Labor Day weekend. That leaves me entirely bored and with nothing to do.

My friends are mentioning some activities this weekend which may pan out. So, I have a few options, but nothing set in stone. Man, sort of a lonely close to the summer though.

Today, I had to collect some quotes about the Bible at work for a project we're working on. There are plenty out there, but I'd say, there's maybe 100 that just get recirculated among websites. Look at about 5 websites and you've seen them all.

There are the token American Founding Fathers: Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson. There's the dissenters like Bertrand Russell, Voltaire, and Cady Stanton. There's every good Christian's philosopher: C.S. Lewis (if he wasn't so good, I'd hate that everyone liked him). Add Billy Graham, G.K. Chesterton, Lincoln, Lord Tennyson, Isaac Newton, A.W. Tozer and C.H. Spurgeon and you've pretty much hit the major players. There are plenty of people who've said impressive things but whom I've never heard of. It's interesting how a reputation (or lack thereof) really determines who gets attention.

A good reputation goes a long way. Most celebrities will be given the time of day for whatever they want to say. Whatever philosophical, philanthropic, or environmental thing they want to push will be listened to just because they're famous. We even put up with Tom Cruise for a while with his rants, and his fall from grace is certainly the exception.

Some, upon their reputations, really do good: Bono, Princess Di, Carter, and others. But many others sit on Leno and and The Daily Show and pander to their audiences for applause, gaining a hearing just because they are really good looking and on tv.

It seems a reputation is everything. Or rather, should I say, fame is everything. A reputation is some grounded in character. Fame is something grounded in talent. We've gotten talent and character mixed up often times: Dennis Rodman, Eminem, and numerous less-extreme (and therefore less-noted) celebrities have talent. But they don't have much character. They create personas, but that's not the same thing.

Character comes from somewhere deeper, not on the surface. It comes from who they are not what they do. But inevitably, what they do is driven by who they are. Talent is good and can be used for great good. But only character will drive a talented individual to use his/her talents for great good.

But when talent does meet character: look out.