Everyday Input: Sarah Dinwiddie

Everyday Input: Sarah Dinwiddie

Every month we post an interview about someone’s everyday input. We do this because it gives us a glimpse into how these people learn and live. We discover the writers they read, the websites they frequent, the podcasts they listen to, and the input they use to unwind. You just might find something to add to your queue.

This month, we have Sarah Dinwiddie, who is a contributor here on Intelligo.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a 25 year old single white female with short hair and an affinity for creating things. Idea generating is like a reflex, and I have always craved a space to use that reflex constructively. I love great storytelling, great food, and the rich depths of learning to love people when you realize that they’re just as complex and dynamic as you are. It's a relief.

What websites do you frequent most?

I frequent YouTube, Facebook, Al Jazeera, Goodreads, and The Skimm.

Who are your favorite writers?

Annie Dillard is my favorite writer. I also feel very attached to the writing of Sarah Kay, Mary Oliver, JK Rowling, CS Lewis, and Ray Bradbury.

What are your favorite podcasts?

I hardly listen to podcasts, but feel that I should more often. I started S-Town recently, but haven't finished it.

What input do you use when you want to unwind?

During the week it’s watching movies via Netflix or Amazon Prime, or reading about random things online. On the weekends I spend more time reading books or listening to music or audiobooks while I do chores.

What’s the most interesting thing you learned recently?

Goodness. I’ve been learning so much about Asia recently. For instance, most South Koreans aren’t actually worried at all about an impending war with North Korea. They see the perceived rising tensions between he US and North Korea as coinciding with the fact that they’re having a presidential election soon, something they say happens every time they hold an election. Like a timeline: South Korea holds an election, so North Korea tries to launch a few missiles and threats to try and rattle people. So right now the mainstream media is painting a highly energized picture of what’s going on, and people are reacting and getting scared about the idea of something terrible like war with North Korea—but South Koreans hold this different perspective. Their logic about the situation makes me think, oh, we probably won’t actually have a war with them after all. This knowledge makes me feel empowered and hopeful, and not manipulated by fear mongering and sensationalized rhetoric--which I think the media is so guilty of, and why people are losing faith in a lot of news outlets.

This discovery and others about Asia recently, they’re making me realize that a huge part of what’s missing from ‘mainstream news’ is this diversity of thought, and legitimately giving a platform to these voices that exist all across the world. This makes me think that this could be a root issue with why journalism is struggling so much to stay afloat and hold credibility with mass audiences: a lack of authentically representing the voices of regular people, and the vilification of different perspectives by each other instead of allowing a more informative, less emotionally manipulative platform for sharing news. It could also be a root issue of why people in different parts of the world feel so entrenched into their own ways of thinking and cut off from each other, even though we’re more globally connected through technology than we ever have been before.

What topics are you currently most interested in?

Asia, multiculturalism, diversity, global communications, race issues, world events, and looking into cultural differences between the east and the west. I’ve been diving into all of this through recently deciding to help an east asian YouTube channel generate topic ideas, do some editing for them, and through trying to run their Instagram. The channel is called Asian Boss (and the Instagram is @realasianboss if you want to keep up with what I'm up to for them).

Who has had the most impact on your worldview?

I'd say that Dr. Lori Kanitz has probably impacted my worldview more than anyone else I’ve ever met—although there are several other contenders, for sure. Through her example, her insight, and the specific topics she taught on, I was challenged and shaped during a really critical growth point in my life. I learned from her about Hassidic Judaism, Jewish and Christian mysticism, and subjects like panentheism that encouraged me to see the world with eyes of wonder. She also introduced me to Annie Dillard, which rocked my world forever. Reading Annie Dillard taught me the value of silence, of dwelling and seeing and taking time to marvel at the miniscule. Reading Dillard also gave me permission to doubt, grieve, hope and believe all at once, and that complex mess be ok. In a more personal way, Dr. Kanitz demonstrated in such a genuine way to me how someone can be a person of deep, rich faith in thought, action, and spirit--and that intellectualism can actually be part of what enriches our faith, which betrayed this weird stigma that intellectualism is actually an obstacle to belief. I will always be grateful for Dr. Kanitz and the mark that she has made on my life.

Anything else you want to add for the readers?

"For everything there is a season." I used to hate this verse and it's implication, but it's becoming one of my favorites. It gives us permission to have ups and downs in life, to grieve, to rejoice, to acknowledge our weakness, and to rejoice in how the Lord helps strengthen us to grow and accomplish something beyond them, and beyond our own self-interest. For those goals you have, those dreams and hopes you are waiting to see fulfilled, it's ok. "For everything there is a season." This gives me so much peace and so much hope.

Be sure and take a look at everything Sarah's doing with Asian Boss, as well what she's written here on Intelligo.

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