THE SEARCH FOR APPLAUSE

I have always had a strange desire to be different than other people. I probably do not differ in this desire from other people. Thinking about this desire and how it has functioned in my life, I am more and more aware of the way my life-style became part of our contemporary desire for "stardom." I wanted to say, write or do something "different" or "special" that would be noticed and talked about. For a person with a rich fantasy life, this is not too difficult and easily leads to the desired "success." You can teach in such a way that it differs enough from the traditional way to be noticed; you can write sentences, pages, and even books that are considered original and new; you can even preach the Gospel in such a way that people are made to believe that nobody had thought of that before. In all these situations you end up with applause because you did something sensational, because you were "different."

In recent years I have become increasingly aware of the dangerous possibility of ...

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From Issue:Fall 1984: Fellowship
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