October 2011 Archives

October 15, 2011

Tweaking the TImeline

Twitter has fundamentally changed the way I live. When I started using it five years ago, my first interest was finding the location of the coworkers I played ping pong with when I felt like playing a game (Fun fact: Every one of those people stopped using the service within a week, with only @smellvin returning).

I met other people and used it sorta like a chat room. I applied for a chance to write for eHub, which was not paid but opened the way for some real work. Somehow I managed to use Twitter to get paid! Amazing!

Fast forward three years and now I'm actually getting paid by Twitter. All the years of heavy usage and advocacy paid off, it seems. But if I'm completely honest, I'll have to admit that I've struggled with its growth and have tried numerous times--all unsuccessfully--to use it in a way that works for me perfectly. I've never been able to do that.

Today I got rid of the lists I'd previously created, and now I'm looking for a new solution. How can I hear new and interesting things while filtering out unnecessary noise? How can I participate in select conversations while effectively ignoring others. Can I still serve my OCD-like tendency to read every tweet when I've doubled the people I follow, or will I have to learn some new way to find what's of interest to me?

I'll have to report back with any solutions I find.

October 6, 2011

By the Grace of God

I'm the kind of guy who spends a lot of time thinking about things... too much, usually. One thing I feel I always should ponder is who I should thank.

It's more complicated than it seems. For example, if I had not become friends with a certain kid named Jason my freshman year of high school, I'd have never met my wife, would never have gotten the job that allowed me to go to Korea, nor would I have been in a position to take advantage of the opportunity to work at Twitter (have I written about that?).

Jason did nothing but befriend me, but he is one of the most influential people in my life. I did nothing to deserve much of what I've enjoyed in my life. I feel I've been a pretty mediocre performer in much of what I do, and I dont hide this fact. There's a term I love, "unmerited favor," that I think is a big part of my life. This term is also a definition for "grace."

At the beginning of the Pledge and Law I learned so many years ago, there lies a condition to all that a Pathfinder is and that one might become: by the grace of God. Considering that most of my childhood friends have criminal records, most of my high school friends are divorced, and most of my family hasn't seen the other side of this country--let alone the other side of the world, I consider myself privileged far beyond what I deserve, and favored in ways I can't explain.

The happiness I enjoy is not the culmination of my efforts, but the gracious gift One was kind enough to bestow. It's good to remind myself of that, and to start my intentions from a point of thankfulness.

October 4, 2011

Pledge and Law

When I was young I was a member of Pathfinders, a youth activity program that is directed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. My parents were involved in running the program, so even before I was old enough to participate (Pathfinders are generally aged 10-15) I was attending workshops, camping and enjoying the program.

A lot of the direction and the instruction I remember of my youth came from that period of my life. Even now I remember the Pathfinder pledge and law as if I still recited it regularly:

The Pathfinder Pledge:

By the grace of God I will be pure, kind, and true I will keep the Pathfinder Law I will be a servant of God and a friend to man.

The Pathfinder Law is for me to:

  • Keep the Morning Watch
  • Do my honest part
  • Care for my body
  • Keep a level eye
  • Be courteous and obedient
  • Walk softly in the sanctuary
  • Keep a song in my heart, and
  • Go on God's errands

I feel very fortunate to have embedded such earnest, uncomplicated life goals at such a young age. Decades later, I can see the pattern these credos have placed on my actions and decision-making as an adult.

There's a significant chance I'll take some (or all) of these concepts and expound on them individually. Even so, what early developmental elements do you see guiding the way you live and operate today?