How did you pass the time when the Kingdom Hall meetings became boring and repetitive/
sit near the front and took notes
When I was a kid, I would literally count the ceiling tiles above the platform.
If I was lucky enough to get to sit next to my friend at the WT study, we'd crack each other up by modifying the pictures accompanying the WT article, or adding silly and inappropriate speech bubbles.
As a child, I mostly just say there and tried not to get my mother's attention. If she even thought we weren't paying rapt attention, we might end up with a trip to the bathroom for a short but very unpleasant beating. And then one at home, because that's how some people deal with the anger they feel at themselves.
As I got older, I think I spent a lot of time day-dreaming, because so few speakers knew how to keep an audience's attention. They just followed the script and droned on. I think many of them just wanted to survive the five or ten minutes they were assigned. It could really be a gloomy atmosphere during the meetings. Before and after? Everyone got to chat with friends and enjoy each other's company for a few minutes, and that was nice.
If any of you do sound at a meeting or assembly, before the meeting or assembly starts, play the Raines of Castamere and see if anyone runs out.
I hated wasting time at boring meetings and was still a believer at the time, so I read the Bible and kept notebooks of questions, things that didn't make sense, good points, etc. I also read a book on Koine Greek as I was learning it at the time.
Towards the end of my time as a JW, I had resigned as an elder and there was an elder (40ish) who had recently moved into our area. He was actually a more normal type person. I could actually gripe to him and he sometimes agreed with me. One time, I ran into him at a grocery store where I was doing some work. I told him in a very sincere, but strong tone "something is wrong; something is wrong" (I was referring to the religion, the organization, etc.) He looked at me with a serious look on his face and walked away as if he was really thinking about what I said. He got halfway to his car in the parking lot and looked back over his shoulder at me and paused for a bit before leaving. I think what I said really affected him. He was far more intelligent and reasonable than the other elders in my area.
Anyway, this guy kind of watched me because I think he connected with me and recognized that I, too, was more intelligent, reasonable, analytical, etc. than other JWs in the area. He seemed to be curious about me. He came over to me after a Sunday meeting and asked me what I was reading. I told him I was studying Greek. He looked interested. He asked in a sincere way - not a way indicating he was trying to correct me.
He looked interested. He asked in a sincere way
Magnum, I enjoy reading your posts.
If you were an elder, you know that seeming sincerity may disguise investigation. He will go the the body and report about you. The intention is good, to help you if you need spiritual help.Then again maybe he is sincere and won’t do that.
Dont you realize that other JW too perceive that something is wrong: WT said the end would come in the 1914 generation. It didn’t. There is also a new younger class of anointed. There is no shortage of anointed for the gov body. One would figure that only a lingering very old anointed would be left but the gb is getting younger all the time. And other things. But JW experience a real relationship with God and they still experience it inside JW religion which cannot be invalidated by the perceived wrongs. This relationship with God trumps everything else.
Counted tiles on the ceiling like everyone else.
When I was about 22 I read a book called The Interpretation of Cultures by Clifford Geertz that uses a method for describing social situations called “thick description”. For a few months I would write “thick descriptions” of the meetings. This was quite entertaining. Unfortunately I don’t think I kept any of these “thick descriptions” and I don’t think I could replicate the process now because the method isn’t fresh in my mind, and my perspective on JW meetings has changed too.
Fisherman: If you were an elder, you know that seeming sincerity may disguise investigation
Yeah, I get your point. However, this was a really good guy. At one point, he even said something to me about resigning as an elder, but he said it would shock his family. I don't know for sure whether his issue was with the organization as a whole or just the situation in my area. In my area, almost all elders were lacking in knowledge, were bad teachers, etc.
This was about seven years ago... maybe more than that. I have thought about this guy a lot and wondered what he's doing now.
slimboyfat, dang, you seem to be really well-read. I am curious about your reading habits. Might have to start a new topic one day and ask you about them. I'm fascinated by the fact that a 22-year-old would be interested in and even aware of such.