Thursday, September 3, 2009
The Porpoise Driven Life - Silly, but not Stupid
This appears as a parody of The Purpose Driven Life. However, there is a deeper lesson to be drawn from it. Religion (at least the Judaism I practice and the Christianity I see around me) is primarily a matter of attitudes, preferences for one course of action rather than another. Knowledge (or belief) and skills play a part, but ultimately it's about what you choose to do.
Changing attitudes is hard. New year's resolutions seldom last until February 1st. To change an attitude, you often need to repeat the lesson over and over. Orthodox Jews do it by praying three times a day, and each of those prayers includes asking God for certain attitudes. Other religions also use repetition in other variations.
But our generation is chronically overstimulated. We are so used to tuning out things, it's all too easy to tune out messages that literally repeat themselves. One solution is to present the message in different fashion each time. Use jokes (such as "Porpoise Driven Life") to get people to listen, and embed the attitude changing lesson in those jokes.