Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Too busy to blog?

Is it me or is our country speeding up? Perhaps it's just that most of my friends/peers are at a similar stage in their lives to me but most people I speak to are feeling busier than ever. It's as if someone's taken hold of the key in the back of Britain and wound it tighter...

Recent reports & research from the likes of Friends Provident and Consumer Analysis Group have sought to understand what's going on: 48% of folks say they are busier now than 5 years ago with less time to relax, with 43% feeling as busy at the weekend as they do during the week (1), usually because our gadgets keep us 'on duty' when we shouldn't be. 1 in 3 people tend to feel busier BECAUSE of their PDA's, mobile phones, laptops and Blackberries. Hmmm... I'm guilty of all of those... guess what I'm thinking...

And then there's this: a certain Professor Richard Wiseman and his team have conducted a study that measured the speed of pedestrians in 32 city centres across the globe (2) They discovered that the pace of life has increased by 10% over the past decade. Singapore was the worst (pedestrians walked 60 feet in 10.55 secs), with Blantyre (Malawi) three times slower. London, you may be pleased to hear, is not in the top ten, but still not far off at 12.17 secs.

So what's going on? Are we making ourselves busier? Is it just that myself and most of my friends have kids AND jobs AND interests AND gadgets? Or is there something more sinister going on?

I for one have an idea that may at least assuage the inevitable stress a little bit more: I'm gonna have a gadget-free day (yes, me!) once a month. No emails, no texts, no Blackberry Instant Messaging, no blogging, no RSS-feeds, no message boards.

Can I do it? I hope so. I'll survive, that much is true. And I'll probably feel a lot better for it, too... Read more!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Laminin, glorious laminin...

Some people say, "How can scientists believe in God?"

Check out this link and wait for the 6th minute sucker-punch...

God's little laminin

...I say, "How can scientists NOT believe in God?" Read more!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Who da man?

"Clothes maketh the man", apparently. What a load of old tosh: I've seen Daffyd on Little Britain. QED. But then, what really does make a man a man?

I've just realised this week how much I hate the term "in touch with his feminine side"(*). It often gets used as a compliment these days, denoting a guy who is sensitive and empathetic and not some lager-swilling, odorous lout. I mean, some 'blokes' need a slap 'cos they sashay through life on a mist of pot pourri and with a Body Shop bag of goodies and a handshake like a dead trout, but still others take it too far the other way. Leaving all the housework to the missus and flirting with female colleagues does not make you more manly. There's nothing like a good pizza-guzzling LAN party with the boys, fragging each other in a deathmatch, but I'm also happy to hang out with a bunch of women, have done on occasion, and still enjoy myself; it's not because I've got a strong "feminine side" but because I'm confident enough in my masculinity to not be threatened by that environment. So, again, what makes a man a man?

If you ask me, I'll always look to the Bible for the definitive truth, and to Jesus Christ as the definitive man. Now, I know He was King of all creation in the form of man, and that He was perfect in every way, untainted by sin of any kind. But that doesn't disqualify his example: in His demonstration of what it is to be a man He was strong, empathetic, not afraid to cry, honest, responsible, standing up for what He believed, practising what He spoke, unwavering in His devotion to the Father. For starters. So, if I'm to be a real man the way God intended, I need to be willing to be counted for what I believe, to be willing to tell my mates the truth if needed even if it may hurt (whilst practising sensitivity to the context, obviously), to not be afraid to tell them I love them too, to take the lead in my household and adopt responsibility for my wife and daughter's moral welfare, to not be overbearing or dominating in my leadership but serving Jennie and Amy in ways that make them both know they're loved like princesses and I'll be there for them, to not fear a good cry, to know which fights to pick and which to walk away from, to lead younger men by example, to demonstrate to the world who a real man is and point the way to Christ every time.

I'm trying, I really I am. And I often screw it up. But I'm trying, and that's the point.

(*How many women are praised for being "in touch with their masculine side"?) Read more!