Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Creative Destruction

Remember as a child when you built a tower of dominoes or blocks, only to have it all fall down—what did you like best about it?  Least?  Why? (Serendipity Bible, 10th Anniversary Edition, p.1738)

I suppose as a child I played the game of dominoes maybe five times.  However, I played with dominoes much more often.  My favorite thing to do was to line them up in a row, each domino standing on end, then topple the first down only to see the entire row follow in order.  I would frequently line them up in contiguous rows that twisted and turned to see them fall down in a pattern.  The reasons for delight in this probably had several causes.   

To an adult standing by, it may appear that I enjoyed destroying things; but this would in major ways miss the point.  For example, there was the pleasure in seeing something working as planned.  In this sense, it fulfilled expectations.  The rules of nature were dependable and reliable.  By working with and using the rules of nature, I could get something to work reliably and successfully.  Next, satisfaction came from a sense of creative power.  By gentling tapping over the first domino, the ultimate effect was greatly magnified.  Not only was there a dramatic new configuration visually displayed, but there was also the sound of dominoes crashing to the table. Then there was satisfaction in automation.  Once started, the process took on a life of its own without further intervention.  Also there was satisfaction in the crescendo effect—watching something successfully progress to a climax despite some risk that things could go wrong.  Finally there was frequently a social aspect.  I was enjoying the spectacle with others and we all intuitively were in concert appreciating all of the factors mentioned earlier.  Much delight and satisfaction derived from this shared experience, mutual discovery, and multifarious affirmation.  Quite unlike excitement derived from destructive negativity, it was, in our own small way, the joy of a Houston Control Center successfully completing a mission.

Print Page