Many a historian or theologian or journalism knows to ask who, what, when, where, and why. You get trained early to automatically cycle through these questions. Yet Grant Wacker has taught many of us (through his presence, writing, and teaching) that perhaps the most important question and the one which often get ignored is “so what?’
I am saying that a lot lately. When I scroll through my status feed. When I check my twitter. When I pull up my newsreader. When I re-read and edit my posts or listen to myself talk. Oh you found a dollar bill with Islamic graffiti, so what? Oh, liberals are not as tolerant as they ask others to be, so what? You believe that gays should shut up and be silent, so what? You think that you have it all figured out, that you have all the answers, so what?
There is a lot of noise out there, and I think we need to practice a lot more discipline in asking, so what? Maybe we need to realize that the world does not care what we think. Maybe we need to realize that others’ lives do not depend on us.
Maybe we need to place a moratorium on reacting until we can answer that final answer. Maybe then we might lower the temperature and raise the dialogue up (rather than continuing to drag it through the glutter).