Thursday, May 11, 2006

Today I Ate a Dog

So my last post was a whiney rant about being on the receiving end of delegation. Yesterday my wife and I went to a taping of Late Night with Conan O'Brien, featuring his guest Dave Chappelle, and now I feel better.

Chappelle, you may know, became an overnight national sensation with his sketch comedy The Chappelle Show, only to walk away from the show almost before breakfast. He told some of his story to Conan; he took a trip to Africa to "hide," and as he talked there about the stress he was feeling over this sudden influx of money and media attention, an African told him, "We have a saying here that may help you to gain some perspective. At the end of the day each day, I say to myself, 'Today I Ate a Dog.'"

The lesson, for Chappelle and I suppose for me, was that in an age of famine and AIDS, most of us need to remind ourselves to "get over your whiney self."

I'll make a quick case for loud time: Chappelle needed someone other than himself to help him gain perspective; facing his problems in isolation was, for him and I suppose for me, an inescapable dilemma. In that respect, whining about my identity crisis on my blog is better (for me at least; I won't speak for you) than crying myself to sleep at night in my huge pillow.

My wife and I have a rock in our living room. It says, "We need each other." "We" in the sense of she and I, to be sure, but the rock came to us in a much larger context: we, human beings, need each other. Maybe God put it better: "It is not good . . . to be alone."

1 comment:

Pete Juvinall said...

To even further push that, one of the more influential books I read was the IVP book on Christianity in community (the name is escaping me right now, but it's the one with the seedling on the cover). It is a stellar book...

I'm firmly in the camp of community being essential for witness (I've been witness to a successful community in alot of contexts (IV, my current church home, etc.)).

I think blogs provide a conduit for a conversation that doesn't always happen well (e.g. my atheist co-worker and I having discussions over each others blogs). It also provides virtual communities to hang out in.

I totally get perspective in community too...right there with you...