Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Different Approach

I received a book in the mail a couple of months ago. It is an autobiography of a man who is running for governor. I don’t know if I want to vote for him or not.

But one thing about his approach impresses me. He says that we live in a sound-bite world, where media impressions determine the fates of candidates. This book, he says, is an effort to work around the shallow portrayals of the media.

I like the idea of conveying something of substance. You can’t really know a candidate on the basis of TV interviews or check marks on a voter guide. Those tools may be helpful, but they don’t show you the character of the person. This book actually tells about the man’s grandparents and his upbringing. If I keep reading it, I suppose I will find out about his policy stances and vision for North Carolina. But I expect, if I keep reading, that I will also know why he holds his positions.

Our culture does seem to focus on very shallow things. The politicians often hold their positions for shallow reasons, like getting certain voting blocks to support them.

We can be people of depth. We need to think about why we believe what we believe. We can take time to invest in the lives of our friends and know why they like to shop or watch football or camp or read or go to movies.

I hope that we will be people who want to be deeper than the latest fashion, who care about others, who really want to connect. Living deeply takes time. It makes us slow down. But it lets us really experience life.