Links to Think: 13.10.15

October 15, 2013



The origin of the 8 hour work day and why we should rethink it – 

“And yet, for most of us it is obvious that knowing how long the average person works every day has little to do with how efficient or productive that pattern is. At least, that is what I personally found for my own productivity. So what’s the the right hourly rate?

With success stories from people working 4 hours a week, to 16 hours a day, it’s hard to know if there is an optimal amount. So instead of going with my gut, which often fails me, I thought of looking into actual research on work time and how to optimize it for your happiness and success.

Why do we have 8 hour work days in the first place?

Let’s start out with what we have right now. The typical work day is around 8 hours. But how did we come up with that? The answer is hidden in the tidings of the Industrial revolution.

In the late 18th century, when companies started to maximize the output of their factories, getting to running them 24/7 was key. Now of course, to make things more efficient, people had to work more. In fact, 10-16 hour days were the norm.”

“Instead, the right focus is your energy, according to famous author Tony Schwartz:

“Manage your energy, not your time.”

Schwartz explains that as humans we have 4 different types of energies to manage every day:”

Room for Reconciliation – With Columbus Day just yesterday, this is timely for American Christians to consider how we view Native American Christians. Food for thought. (The link also shares a great video.)

“Whose gonna take back those stories?” The challenge was simple.  Who is going to take back the stories that have been entrenched in American culture about Native Americans for so long? Stories of how Native Americans are pagan, how they are less than human, and how Indian customs just do not fit with Christian beliefs.  The solution, however, is not simple.  The stories are out.  They are in people’s minds, and it is our job, in this day, to put aside the old ways of thinking, and embrace reconciliation with the first people of America.

Richard Twiss walked onto the stage at the CCDA conference in Minneapolis last week with a message of reconciliation and a challenge and left the stage with the deafening roar of an excited crowd at his back. Twiss, a Lakota Sioux educator and author, captured the CCDA audience right away and did not let them go until the last words had left his mouth. “A separation exists between a broken, fallen humanity and God,” he said, adding that another separation exists between God’s people.

To most Americans, it has been years since the oppression of Native Americans, noted Twiss, but for the Native Americans, the oppression never ended.  “The story of oppression and colonization is still alive,” said Twiss.  It is vital, for reconciliation and change, to redeem the stories that have been told for years.  Then, with God’s power, restore relationships and find change.

Many Americans are committed to pursuing the “American Dream,” he said, but it is a dream that is a nightmare to Native Americans who are isolated on reservations, where no one seems to lend a helping hand, and where poverty, alcoholism, and drug abuse destroy lives.  “People don’t have time for us,” said Twiss. “They say that Indian culture doesn’t belong in Christianity.”  But just because a culture is not conservative, doesn’t mean it is not Christian, he challenged his audience. And just because Native Americans praise Jesus with song and dance and passion, does not mean they are doing it wrong.

TOMS, Harper Lee, and Sponsored Children – Hannah Anderson offers some helpful thoughts on how we view ourselves in our desire to “help.”

“To be fair, TOMS’ impulse to save the world is not a new one. Doing it clumsily is not new either.

Harper Lee captures this exact predicament in her book To Kill a MockingbirdSet during the Great Depression in the rural South, the book is narrated by young Jean Louise Finch (aka Scout), the daughter of a widowed lawyer. One summer, their sleepy town is shocked awake when a black man is put on trial for assaulting a poor white woman. Scout’s father deftly proves his innocence but to no avail. A jury of 12 white men finds Tom Robinson guilty. The following scene comes just days after the verdict:”

“Most of us identify with the giver. We think of ourselves as Messiahs. We say things like, “I’m giving because Jesus gave to me” when we really mean “I am Jesus.” The problem is that we human beings tend to give out of our self-sufficiency rather than out of our desperation. And when we do, despite our best intentions, we end up just as clueless, just as arrogant, just as ugly as the “civilized” women of the Maycomb Alabama Methodist Episcopal Church South.

“Helping the poor is a tricky business—whether in the slums of Kenya, in the inner city, or in rural Appalachia. In the end, our generosity must be motivated by humility and grace. We must give to the poor, not because they need us to save them (or we need them to save us from our own wealth). We must give to the poor because He has already and is everyday saving us. We must give to “the poor,” not because we are so different from them but because we’ve finally realized that we are so very much the same. “

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