I have sometimes wondered why the greeting card industry is so huge. Why would I (especially as a writer) want to send somebody a card written by someone else when I could just as easily use my own words?
As crazy as it might seem, sometimes someone else has articulated exactly what you wanted to say in exactly the way you wished you could have said it. They’ve captured the moment perfectly.
So, why mess with perfection in this moment?
Now, admittedly, this doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I figure, why reinvent this particular wheel when it’s rolling along quite nicely on its own?
When it comes to something like expressing my love to my wife for no particular reason or sending Happy Birthday wishes to Grandma or Happy Bar Mitzvah to my neighbor’s kid, I’ll pop into the local Hallmark store and see what I can find. Most of the time, I’m amazed at how a card writer, who knows nothing about me, can articulate the feelings I have for that particular occasion.
I like it. It makes me feel like I’m not alone– that other people share very similar feelings with me. I’m not bothered by not being “original”, as if I’m the first one in the history of love to ever feel this way, or that someone else also had a grandmother that looked like Maxine.
But it’s not just in the realm of greeting cards that I’ve found this phenomenon. I find it all the time in music, art, literature and even conversation with other folks.
Recently, I’ve been struggling with exactly how to articulate my faith. How can I put into words what I’ve come to understand about what I believe?
I know that’s quite a step away from my neighbor’s kid’s bar mitzvah, and it’s something that is constantly evolving as I continue to grow, but, never the less, I’ve come across something so striking, I wanted to share it here.
In the video below, Peter Rollins is being interviewed about the Emerging Church movement, something I’ve been fascinated by. The questions are solid and the interviewer is not lobbing softballs. His answers, though, are a perfect articulation of what I would like to think I would have been able to say if I had been in his seat.
In sharing this video, I’m not abdicating my responsibility to speak for myself; I love talking about his kind of stuff. I just thought it was a really nice place to start, like a really great Hallmark card.
I hope you’ll take some time with it and give it a look!