Monday, May 16, 2011
Is it a sign of getting older or more lazy? Maybe it's my love of people watching. But I almost enjoy reading the comments on an online article more than I enjoy reading the article itself. I find myself skimming the post or article so fast that I barely get the gist of it just so I can get to the comments faster.
I think the bottom line reason for this is: the comments tell me a lot more about people in general than the article ever will. The comments tell me hopes and fears. Ideologies and theologies. Purposes and passions. Loves and hate. What makes people tick and think. What makes them zig and what makes them zag.
Take this interesting short blurb of an article on Stephen Hawking's take on the afterlife. It's short, sweet, and to the point as to what he think of previously published views of God and science and current views of the afterlife and what will win. All interesting stuff.
But look at the comments...all 19,343 by the time I wrote this post. They are fascinating! They tell us so much about people and their views of religion, the religious, God, His people, and their experiences with all of the above and then some.
If you have a hard knowing and/or understanding where people are at in regards to spiritual things (whatever the article is about i.e. politics, culture, parenting, education etc), skim the article and READ the comments. If you have a hard time thinking about how people think about God, Jesus followers, the church, etc (as well as America, Republicans, Democrats, Lady Gaga, teachers etc) then graze the article and devour the comments. They are a treasure chest full of insight as to how people think, feel, and believe. And if we know that stuff, we might - with God's help - just be able to better love, engage and serve those that are far away from Him (or whatever is we might believe).