The Best Idea in the World

I read Mark Greene’s book The Best Idea in the World yesterday – full of goodness. It’s all about the need for human beings to be in meaningful relationships with other human beings. Here’s just a few of the ideas which I particularly liked:

  • 70% of people don’t leave their jobs – they leave their managers
  • Politicians and employers need to create conditions in which people can flourish as whole human beings
  • Eating meals together as a family is a predictor of educational attainment [and also spiritual I wonder?]
  • Leaders choose teams, but eating together builds them
  • 5 factors that effect relational proximity
    • Directness of contact – in oral communication words make up 7% of the message – the rest is gesture, expression, tone etc. Talk face-face, person-person; eat and drink together. A third of British people eat their meals in front of the TV!
    • Continuity of contact – do the school run, use the same local pub, cafe, eatery, paper shop or whatever. Consider the relational cost of moving away from an area.
    • Commonality of purpose – foster some ‘in it together’ Dunkirk spirit.
    • Multiplexity – spend time in different contexts with people
    • Parity – ontological equality and functional difference

And here’s just a few more quotes or paraphrases stitched together:

  • Our best friends we see once or twice a year!
  • With texts, emails, webcams, social networks, and second lives we are globally wired but relationally disconnected – touched a million times but never embraced. The average US home has more TV’s than people.
  • As one writer puts it “One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night”.

This is definitely a book worth getting – there’s plenty of material to stimulate thought, and perhaps use for teaching or homegroup series’.

One Reply to “The Best Idea in the World”

  1. Its on my ‘to-read’ list – really enjoyed his other books. The point he makes about being ‘globally wired but relationally disconnected’ is I feel going to be a massive one in the years to come as social media interaction grows! I’m sure there is some good thinking to be done about how we engage with this topic further – a homegroup series is a good shout.

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