Creativity and Resilience (thoughts from class)

This post first appeared on the blog for Dr. Linda Garcia’s course “Networks and the Creative Process” at Georgetown University. We discussed the relationship between society and creativity in consideration of Weimar Germany.


In the first pages of Peter Gay’s book “Weimar Culture: Outsiders as Insiders” I was most struck by this descriptive phrase: “exiles… did their greatest work in enforced residence on alien soil.” The names of these exiles are not so foreign to us: Albert Einstein, Erich Fromm, and the sociologists of the Frankfurt School. This prompted me to think about what it means to be a social outsider, and how that often fuels creativity.

Continue reading “Creativity and Resilience (thoughts from class)”

Life in a Small World

Years ago, I was a blog-happy missionary, bouncing around the world with nothing but a 65-liter frame pack and a lot of good intentions. I came home with a lighter pack, but a heavier load of the stories and images and love of people… like Isaac in Malaysia.

Just after he dropped us off at the train station to leave his city of Ipoh, Isaac sent me a goodbye text. It said, “See you in a small world.”

I haven’t seen Isaac since then, but our world is definitely small, and I definitely see him in it. I will never hear or read the news without picturing the faces of my friends. So with Ukraine spinning into chaos lately, this is what it looks like for my world to be small: Continue reading “Life in a Small World”