I thought I had invented a word today but sadly not! I came up with ‘Miscontent’ to explore a particular idea but it is Googlable, however only as an alternative rendering of discontent.
The context was wanting to do a piece of reflective work with Youth workers of the Diocese. Steve Tilley had recently flagged up a quote that has been on my mind for a few days, axiomatically observing that,

“In churches there is not a culture of being critical about things you are enjoying!”

It struck me that this was a useful truism and wondered about how critique could therefore be encouraged of that which wasn’t bad, failing or un-enjoyable. Thus ‘miscontent’ was born. The idea was trying to identiify events or situations that you were not discontent with, but somewhere on the margins of your thoughts or feelings there was a mis-content, a feeling that, as good as it was, there was a need for re-examination or change.
Given the number of events, organisations and strategies that carry on until the point where they don’t work, I think the quote and the idea of mis-contentment is really interesting.
We had a good conversation around this. I still don’t know if it’s useful but hey I’m going to play with this idea and be critically thinking about various projects over the holidays (or, I guess therefore, my summer of miscontent)

3 Replies to “Miscontent”

  1. Ian
    The word ‘why’ is the beginning of reflection/critique which leads to purpose. Much of the time we fear critical reflection due to the negativity of ‘critical’. I welcome more reflection of the use of ‘why’ rather than ‘how’ which seems dominant in the youth min world. Young People usually start with ‘why’ anyway!

  2. whats the difference between malcontent and miscontent then ? (apart from the spelling and the fact that the spell check underlines in red miscontent ?)

  3. Stu,
    you may well be right there and I hadn’t thought of that word. The danger of the blog being me thinking out loud.
    Malcontent may also be too negative though, I’m still playing with an idea though of mostly being ‘content’ with what’s happening but identifying that there is a feeling somewhere that a re-look is needed, even if we are, as yet, unsure why?

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