Question: What Helps You Understand The People Around You?

question-mark_1.jpgI  would really like to hear from you on this one.  I would like to put together a list of what actually helps some of us keep up with whatever might be going on in our culture.  What helps you understand the people around you?
 

  • You might believe a certain film ought to be on that list.
  • Perhaps there is a particular book that you believe to be essential reading right now.
  • Perhaps there is a certain television program or magazine that helps you keep up with pop culture. 
  • Maybe you are thinking about an academic book or perhaps a popular book.
  • You might believe that certain websites are essential for keeping up with this culture.
  • Maybe you are engaged in certain conversations that you find very helpful.  Perhaps you meet once a month with a group of people who are of a different age than you, or gender, or ethnic group.

 
Anyway,  I would appreciate hearing from you on this one.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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11 thoughts on “Question: What Helps You Understand The People Around You?

  1. Hi Jim,
    I am not a fan of Pop Culture, reality TV  and daytime talk shows but find that many of my members are so inclined.  So, I watch "the Soup" on E once a week.  The show keeps up with the doings of celebrities, daytime talk shows and reality TV and makes fun of Pop Culture in a very user friendly format.  I am able to laugh at the show and become better informed on some vacuous but very popular portions of the culture.  You may already have this on your list but if not, it is fast (about 22 minutes on your DVR) and a reasonably enjoyable way of keeping up.
    Grace and Peace!
    Allen

  2. Jim,
    I too swing by E channel and catch Talk Soup or other "news entertainment" type stuff.
    Relevant magazine is also so great.

  3. I am a huge fan of "The Daily Show" (Jon Stewart) and "The Colbert Report." (Stephan Colbert) These have come to be referred to as faux news programs, comedy that is tied closely to current events. It’s not too hard to figure out what is comedy and what is the event.

  4. Like Dave, I am a big fan of The Daily Show.  CNN is about the only news site I can tolerate, oh and public radio.  Movies that I feel are resonating with my age group would be Garden State, Napoleon Dynamite, Wall-E…to name a few.   

  5. Allen–Thanks so much for the suggestion.  I will add "The Soup" to this list.  Thanks so much. Arlene–Thanks for the suggestion regarding "Relevant" Dave–good suggestions.  I completely forgot about the Colbert Report when I started putting together this list.  Thanks. Jennifer!!–It is so good to hear from you.  Ok–Napoleon Dynamite I’ve seen.  (Jamie was pretty sure I would think it was funny.)  "Garden State" and "Wall-E"–I’m not familiar with.  🙂  You make me want to watch the Daily Show more.   

  6. I think any TV can give you some insight into our culture.  For one, there are many categories of TV shows for the extremely varied audiences in the US.  Look at what’s popular and what’s not to get the pulse of the culture.  Looking at a show or channel over time and how it changes can also show a cultural trend (MTV for example has gone through many changes in the last 20 years).  But this is on a very large and generalized scale.  My best source of information is listening to and engaging the people around me – the people in my "sphere of influence".  I work hard to listen to them and really care about them and develop a relationship.  This allows me to really dialog and understand the why behind the what.mark 

  7. Jim, I read a book this summer which I think does a good job of presenting God to our current culture – "The Shack" by William P. Young. I think it would be a good book for a group to study together.  Would stimulate some interesting discussion, I imagine.

  8. Something else I thought of that helps me connect with my clients – ask about their tatoos!  So many young people have tatoos now and usually there’s a story behind each one.  I have found that some of my clients who may be a little startling in appearance (to me) due to their tatoos and clothing usually open up when I comment (in a positive way) about their tatoos.  Many of them have tatoos in memory of someone who has died or who meant a lot to them.  I try to approach them in a genuinely interested and nonjudgmental way and they usually respond very well.  (I must admit it has taken some time and thought for me to approach this in a positive way.)

  9. Ron–Thanks very much.  I have benefited much from Len Sweet but have not read this book. Connie–What a wonderful idea!  I don’t think I would have thought to do that.  Thanks.Good to hear about the Shack.  I have it on my shelf but haven’t read it. Mark– Wonderful suggestions!  I like what you are saying regarding television.  That makes sense to me.  I also appreciate what you say regarding listening to people.  Thank you Mark.