Discover more from Notes On Being Human
Note #52: Life is full of trade-offs
Black Widow, safety, places, palm oil
I had a fun time in London this week attending a theology conference—and had the amusing experience of having people repeatedly asking where I preach (the theology version of cosplay, I guess) and I had to keep explaining that I was just there out of interest. It was great to be able to do something like that after all these months, and I the neighbourhood was nice too. Here’s a photo I took:
It was also great to be with folks who were all also varying degrees of Christian intellectual. I often say that friends are the people you get to make assumptions about, and that was certainly the feeling there: like being able to talk about MCU Black Widow without having to explain about the Sokovia Accords.
(Speaking of which, I went with a few friends to see the delightful Black Widow on Wednesday’s pre-opening—which, thanks to the England-Denmark match at the same time, left us in the weird situation of a half-empty cinema on an MCU opening night!)
Be safe—or strong? (essay)
I’ve discussed safety and strength in a previous note, but this week I explored it in a bit more depth.
Here’s an excerpt:
I’ve been thinking a lot the last year about the trade off between safety and strength.
I think about trade offs a lot in general. Too often I see people miss out on stuff because they were focused on one desire without realising it cost them another equally important desire. And too often I've been those people. And in the past year, as we've gone though unprecedented global disruption, I've found myself thinking a lot about the trade off between safety and strength in particular.
We want both, of course but that's not really how life works.
You can read the rest of the essay here: Safety versus strength
Persons & places (quote)
I’m really excited about Dune coming out as a film later in October—just 3 more months, but also nervous about how well it lives up to the expectations. Here’s a great line from it about how much our identity is tied to our networks, both social and environmental.
There might be a joke here about trade offs and Trading Places but I feel like it might be too much of a dad joke. Right?
Palm oil (Yoruba proverb)
Speaking of tradeoffs:
If you’re wearing white clothes, you don’t go where people are eating palm oil.
Palm oil, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is viscous red oil we use to cook, and you don’t want it on your clothes period. But the meaning of the proverb isn’t just about not going to places that don’t suit you. This is a proverb often said to someone who has to wear white for a reason, and the idea is that to get it stained by palm oil is to jeopardise whatever reason you’re wearing your white for.
Even if the food is incredibly appetising—that’s the trade off you sign up for.