The Chinese political leader Mao Zedong was born in Shaoshan, China. I prefer veggie pizza. What’s the connection? The next time someone tells you they dislike Christianity because it says other faiths are wrong, ask them whether we’re talking about birthplace or pizza taste. It’ll reframe the conversation to help you overcome a misguided objection.
Bill Cosby was feeling frustrated four years ago at the NAACP gala commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. He believes black men have become free riders. “Everybody knows how important it is to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t land a plane with ‘Why you ain’t…’” Since 2004 “A Call Out with Bill Cosby” has stirred the pot yet has been well received. “People have been waiting to hear the truth, they don’t want to be coddled,” says Cosby. This raises a question. What if a church got feisty and “called out” congregants who are free riders? Oh, no—we couldn’t do that. Well…one religious faith does, with noteworthy results.
The 90% solution.
Millvina Dean might suggest we pay closer attention to what’s below the surface. She was two months old and a passenger on the Titanic when it struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912. Today she’s the last living survivor. Everyone knows that 90% of an iceberg is below the surface. But what does this tell us if human nature is like an iceberg?
A young man once tracked down Albert Einstein and insisted on showing him a manuscript. On the basis of the E=mc2 equation, the man said it would be possible “to use the energy contained within the atom for the production of frightening explosives.” Einstein brushed him off, calling the concept foolish.1 Later in life Einstein recognized the destructive energy in his equation. A phone call this week reminded me that we’d do well to recognize a human equation that often yields destruction.