Youth Minister as Lion Tamer

From an article at the New York Times titled "Modern Love: What Shamu Taught me about a Happy Marriage:"

"I listened, rapt, as professional trainers explained how they taught dolphins to flip and elephants to paint. Eventually it hit me that the same techniques might work on that stubborn but lovable species, the American husband."

Reading the article, which both intrigues (because I know the techniques would work) and vaguely bothers me (because I disappreciate experimenting on people when they don't know what's going on) it strikes me the same practices could be applied to youth groups, and so we should all read the book. Check it out; I think we've all felt like lion tamers now and then!

1 comment:

Esther said...

In reference to the article, I think that positive reinforcement in a marriage is a great idea. I don't like the idea of "training" people, however. Just be appreciative about good things and be less negative about annoying things. That's a great way to get a good response. It would also minimize arguments. Nobody wants to be nice if someone harps on their bad points and ignores their good ones. I don't think it's about training, I think it's about being more positive than our culture suggests we be. We have a very self centered culture that teaches us to get mad every time we don't have our own way until we end up with extremely unrealistic expectations of those around us. A little gratitude for all the good things in life would go a long way to stave off the effects of this me-centered, crazy world.