mind the gap

there’s a big chance that you are -like me- a little more pragmatical person. dozens of theoretical books to read for exams, personal development and in order to make it as a professional. at least that’s what the certificate states.

i for myself enjoy to learn from the books professors recommend as compulsory. but sometimes i have the feeling it’s not enough for a proper preparation. many university courses are not a “how-to” or don’t inspire sufficiently. there is a big gap between theory and practice, theory and inspirational learning. if the educational system is not fairly practical, we might find ourselves in the situation of not knowing what to do with the thousands of pages we read.

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so let’s try to mind the gap. mind the gap – originally used to warn passengers getting on the train/bus/metro – has also the meaning to deal with the void. in our case the void between uninspiring theory and practical ability.

here’s what i propose in order to mind the gap:
during studies or already being in practice search for people in you profession that inspire you. if it’s possible meet and ask for advice – until here nothing new or complicated. but an old roadster can surely recommend some good books to read for your profession. and i’m sure, that one who is in the profession for many years, won’t suggest you books that are packed with boring or ununderstandable theory. instead, they will give you titles that will inspire and grow you wings.

i ask every pastor, psychologist, theologian and people who work in a helping profession to give me their top 5 list of books that could inspire me as a further professional. i collect the lists and after 15-20 lists i compare the lists and choose the books with the most occurrences and add them on my to-read list.

this is one practical way i try to mind the gap.

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What have I learned from Bonhoeffer?

there are many people who by writing, thinking, preaching, teaching or simply by living a life by heart, became inspirational people. people, who had an effect by work or became role models through their life worth of following. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (DB) is certainly one of those people. he is one of the few Christians who has an extremely influential effect in our days, no matter which point of the world we are taking in consideration. but he is extra. because you have to know his life history in order to understand his writings and you can’t reflect on his life without reading his works – says Christiane Tietz in her book called Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Theologe im Widerstand.

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hereby i sum up three important things i have learned so far and imprinted in my life and way of living thanks to Bonhoeffer, after reading his biography.

  1. no and yes are not good enough as answers

this is not only about keeping it simple or straight to the point. people are many times shrinking the possibilities, because it’s easier. DB was never delighted to have a yes/no opinion about things that matter. he would always research deeply before giving an answer, underlining the importance of circumstances that lead to the given answer. it’s never black or white.

  1. religious belief Christian faith

i assume many would think these two terms are equal and the same. well, it’s not so. it is indeed true that Christian faith can be summed up in one or another type of religion or religious belief, but this is bad totalization. cumulative religious belief is never equal to Christian faith of ones.

  1. choosing your devotion is not the question of what your family and country wants

the decision to study theology thunderstruck mainly the father of DB. he was right: to become a lawyer, doctor or psychologist would have been at that time too a very good opportunity to be respected and not to get conspicuous with the regime. but DB took a stand against family and the communist regime. he did what he wanted, what he liked, what he could help others with. no matter the price.

with time the list will be expanded by me. but can be done by all who read this article and would like to share opinions in comments.