Fads are fun; teenage girls’ new clothing can be a fascinating parade. . . unless you’re a parent: then, fads can almost drain your coffers dry.
Intellectual fads are interesting, too. I may be following one right here: blogging, philosophizing, spiritual talk, etc. Better not take it too seriously.
On Friday, I had a meeting near a college campus, and afterwards, wanted a good coffee and went across the street to the Student Union.
It was great, a blast from the past. I overheard students passionate about everything, heated discussions, intense conversations about every topic imaginable. I could easily remember being in their shoes, and felt a wave of compassion toward the impermanence of their (my) passions. I had a little grumpiness about the importance given to intellectual fads, but I mostly let that go. Mostly.
Then, on Sunday, over coffee in a church fellowship hall, I was eavesdropping again, intrigued by the familiar dynamic. Many of the little groups were passionate about Outreach Programs, Teen’s Nite, new books, new TV programs, new conferences. Then it hit me: maybe I was listening to fads, again.
The Tale Wagged
I was feeling the temporary nature of fads, and the poignance of people hoping a “new thing” might give them something they needed. Everyone I overheard was passionate about his or her topic; they were intense (I know a bit about this place myself), serious, hopeful, full of expectation. Most of us were acting like college freshmen!
But one white‑haired guy was sipping his tea, listening to someone else’s little kid tell him about her visit to the zoo and some friends she was going to visit. They seemed different: two people connected, one seventy years old, the other seven, neither caught in a fad, just “Being With,” no causes, no Big Picture, no worrying, no posturing, no passions — they were a bit more fun to watch.