Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

At the recent Northern Voice, in “Social Media for Social Change”, Richard Loat asked the audience: Who here has an idol? Who is it, or who are they? And then was rather taken aback that no one raised their hand or had a ready answer.  He clearly did.

Before I go on, think about the questions yourself, and come up with an answer.

I liked the question, but I asked some friends to share their idols, if they had one, and the answer was often: Nope, don’t have an idol.  Which surprised me.  And I like things that surprise me, because it got me to thinking.

Several people told me that they didn’t have an idol because idols are bad.  You know, biblically bad—golden idols and god’s rage and all that.  Having people who inspire you, or who you like, or who had good ideas, that was one thing.  But to idolize them—it’s bad for them, and it’s bad for the person doing it, too.  That seemed to be the biggest objection.

Other people objected to pop idols, the idea that there are celebrities who are “worshiped”; and others didn’t like the media making various figures into idols and then later tearing them down when they ended up not matching the media’s own flawed or exaggerated portrayals.

No one really got into the anthropological meaning of idols.

So, I revised the question to: Who inspires me, and help shape the values and ideals I have? And I came up with this list:

Now it’s your turn to surprise me!


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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