Having spent most of my life in school, taking notes has become an almost pathological habit of mine–it doesn’t matter if I’m at a lecture, morning worship, in a classroom, or an informal talk; if someone is speaking in an official capacity, out comes the notebook and pen. The result is a nicely organized outline and a mind utterly unburdened with any remembrance of what was just said. I get so pre-occupied with my understanding of what the speaker is saying, that I completely ignore what it is he’s saying–I’m not receiving; I’m appropriating. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that–I want to understand what I hear–but if I become so focused on comprehending that I stop listening, that’s a problem.
According to certain authors, I’m not the only one who does this–Americans in general are especially prone to focusing on what we can get out of a thing, rather than understanding the thing in itself. It turns out that there’s an explanation for this–we sat down with White Horse Inn producer Shane Rosenthal and asked him why it is that we’re so drawn toward the active life, and got some very interesting answers.