These are the trivial things we can’t stop thinking about

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Thank God for the trivial! Like that song lyric running through your head right now. Or, the obscure mystery in classic literature that you’ve puzzled over for years. (For example, who snitched on Josef K. in Kafka’s novel, The Trial? Who caused his arrest? We have a guess.)

Trivial information is part of a balanced diet for the brain. It rescues us from boredom. It gives us a vacation from the daily grind. Remember being told as a child, “small things have a big impact?” Well, many of us grow up fast. Soon, we’re taking in a steady diet of life’s problems and tragedies. We refuse to entertain the small stuff. It’s a waste of time, a distraction.

Trivial information is part of a balanced diet for the brain.

Around here, we don’t just tolerate the trivia floating around in our brains. We encourage it. Seriously. Could you imagine obsessing over global news all day? How would we survive?

If the day’s news is important, it will find you. We can’t hide from the global news cycle when it has something big to say. If the news is big, we’ll surely listen. In the meantime, we’re more focused on whether the Gallagher brothers will get back together than rising interest rates. A lot of what they call hard news is really a bunch of factoids you can live without.

Bad news doesn’t rest. Why do some people go looking for it? We think what’s labeled as trivial is actually pretty important. What the world tells us is important is so often trivial.

There’s no debating, we can’t get trivial ideas out of our heads. Why is a story, a show, or a song so sticky? That’s easy. It’s because you notice it’s important! Your brain is equipped to be a supercomputer. Your heart is designed to be a pastor. Together, these parts of you synthesize information. Because you’re human, what interests you most quickly is relational.

We live for the small moments of reflection that art can give.

Hard news is wrapped in fear. Pay attention or we’ll (fill in the blank). So-called trivial stuff is about life-affirming things. There’s a natural draw toward relational information. It’s the business of art, which includes books, music, and other heart-minded things. We live for the small moments of reflection that art can give. We’re open to the quiet lessons it has to offer.

Interest rates rise and fall. People are less predictable. For example, can two estranged brothers (and rock icons) get back together and bury the past after the damage they’ve caused each other? Yeah, it’s trivia. It doesn’t affect us. It doesn’t concern us. But if we know the Gallagher brothers’ story, it’s relatable, touching, tragic. It’s a story that offers insight into our own relationships, past or present. It’s a human dynamic that reflects back onto us.

Those trivial obsessions you want to get rid of? They’re telling you something. We’ve decided to listen. We’re ready to enjoy ourselves through the trivial things that won’t leave us alone.


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