Friday, January 25, 2008


We are definitely not in a perfect world as alluded to in my last post. We have all done things that have helped both the cause of good and bad.

Here is something that points out this problem through the artistic medium of music and video. The song also mentions how to fix ourselves concerning any bad that we may have personally done. You have probably heard the song before, but not quite listened to the lyrics...

For those of you that don't know me really well, I like Christian music and there are a lot of really good Christian music groups out there. You probably don't know this as well, but Linkin Park is a Christian band. They are definitely on the harder side of Adult Contemporary Christian (ACC). Sometimes the ACC songs can be a little too "born again" for me, but there are some jewels out there. For the other end of the spectrum there are two amazing songs that are beautiful both in lyrics and audio:

For those of you out there that like a little R & B:

If you like Sarah McLachlan type of music:

If you like more chill Jack Johnson-esque:


Growing up in Utah I didn't even know this genre existed. When I flew to Maryland to interview for dental school at U of MD and Virginia Commonwealth I rented a car and drove to the two schools. I obviously didn't know the FM stations at all so I just scanned around until I found a song I liked. One scan brought me to a song that I had never heard before and really liked, then the next...same thing. After about four songs in a row that I really liked and hadn't heard before the DJ came on and mentioned something about the ACC music they were playing. I was pleasantly surprised, hopefully you will be as well.

Monday, January 21, 2008

No Poor Among Them

I recently listened to a podcast that discussed a movement to focus on the description of Zion as the following, "...there was no poor among them." Many times I have seen this emphasis put forth on various blogs, essays, books, etc. and I see it as a good direction to head, indeed, more than good. As the podcast interviewee put forth his argument I began to disagree with his vision of "no poor among [us]." As I see it, he states that we have a democracy of political power, but not a democracy of financial power, thus we have the disparity of rich and poor. This separation of socio-economic classes should be reversed according to the interviewee and all people should be equal rather than capitalistically trying to make our situation as good as possible for our self and family. Being equal would mean that we all work the same amount and receive the same recompense. That is where I begin to disagree, and for two reasons that I'll detail out below. Hypothetically, in this society you would set a standard "X" for work that needs to be done in order for everyone to have the proper amount of goods to live a standard "Y" of lifestyle.

Problem 1: not everybody is going to want standard "Y" lifestyle. Some people will want and be happy with less, some people will want more. Of course, no one should be left without having standard lifestyle "Y" (food, shelter, health care, recreation, etc.) which is a big problem with life as we now know it. But, how do you deal with the inevitable variance in desired lifestyles? If you say those that want to work more get more then that seems to be back at a capitalistic approach again.

Problem 2: not everybody is going to want to work the same amount. Some people are not going to want to put in the standard "X" amount of labor. Do they still get "Y" lifestyle, and therefore get a free ride? Some will want to work more. What do you do with the extra goods produced by those that do the extra labor and the motivation that opportunity creates?

For these reasons I disagreed with the interviewee's desire for an anarchistic social system. I still believe that due to a wide spectrum of lifestyles and work ethics that a capitalistic society is still the best. But to be a good Christian capitalistic society we should do more to define an appropriate "Y" lifestyle, ensure that all who will do "X" labor receive it. If you aren't willing to do "X" labor then you get your percentage of "Y" lifestyle according to the percentage of "X" you completed (being physically and mentally capable of course).

I'd be interested to know others thoughts on this and their ideal social structuring system.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Reading again

After reading so much in dental school that I literally think I overheated a few neurons and caused permanent damage I had to take some time off. Now that I have been out of school a few years I have picked up reading for fun again. I chose two books: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Bushman and Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. Two very different books, but both about amazing experiences and amazing people. Very inspirational.

RSR is a book that has created some waves. I think those waves will end up being beneficial. I have always had a special spot in my heart for Brother Joseph. Reading this book made him more human to me and therefore I was better able to understand him. That being said, I don't know how he was able to withstand all the stresses he had coming at him from every angle. Like the Navy SEALs in Lone Survivor, amazing times bring out amazing feats from amazing people. If you haven't read either book I strongly recommend them. If RSR causes any problems for you feel free to discuss it with me. Bushman was the perfect person to write this book at what I feel was the perfect time.