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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Creative Destruction

Do you like tearing down or taking apart more than setting up and putting together? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 632).

When I was a teenager in Bowling Green a chore that I enjoyed doing was cutting the grass. There was a field in back of the house that had tallgrass growing wildly on it. One of the things I enjoyed doing was encroaching on this field with the heavy-duty lawnmower. This action joined the pleasures of tearing down (cutting down the tallgrass) with those of setting up (creating a beautifully mowed lawn in its place). Often these diverse and distinct pleasures appear in tandem. In my college years I enjoyed doing term papers that critiqued past research while hopefully contributing to fresh insight – once again joining aspects of tearing down with those of setting up. In my work now with computers it is often necessary to analyze (breaking a problem down into its constituent parts) before coming up with creative solutions (building something new). Thus it becomes clear why problem solving is so enjoyable – it offers a double whammy. The mastery inherent in breaking down (analysis) combines with the synthetic mastery inherent in creation – both providing triumphant pleasures to the mind and spirit. I often feel sorry for those who mistakenly assume that work is devoid of pleasure when in fact the very opposite is true – pleasure is the driving force that spearheads the will to work. It is in this sense that work is a necessary though light burden.

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