Zach Ellsworth

Zach moved to Cincinnati and married his wife Hanna in 2013. Graduate (!!!) of UC's Philosophy program, he's a pedestrian small-talker who loves thinking deep and wide.

Hello...(hello...hello...hello...)

So apparently there was some election this week. Weird, right? Have you heard anything about it? Hardy har har... I frankly have nothing to say about the results of the election. I'm taking my own advice and bowing out on this one. However, there's something that the election has made acutely obvious and that is particularly insidious. Many of us live in an echo chamber. The idea of a social media echo chamber suggests that many people only interact with like-minded people over social media. The echo chamber constantly reinforces our own opinions. We read the same news stories or studies with the facts that back up our previously held beliefs. In the echo chamber, we never face any dissent;...

Our Imaginary Audience

Kids are selfish. They have a hard time thinking of others. Developmentally, this makes sense. It comes as no surprise that a child has a hard time understanding the thoughts of others because the child himself is only just beginning to make sense of his own thoughts. Kids are selfish and self-centered. One of the results of this is a phenomenon known as the "Imaginary Audience". The imaginary audience is a state of mind that leads an individual to believe that everyone is watching him, thinking about him, evaluating him, etc. Naturally, this thinking affects the individual's behavior. He is, in essence, always performing. Now, for those young people afflicted with the pressure of the imaginary audience, they are expected...

Are Spiritual Disciplines Ungodly?

Chances are you have sat in a small group or had a conversation in passing where you've been asked, "How are you spiritually?" or "How is your walk with the Lord?" or "how is your quiet time?" If you're anything like me, your response to this question is a stuttering, stammering, guilt-laden "well...not as good as it should be." This guilt will point us in one of two ways. It will either put the onus on us to do better, to work to gain approval before God, or it will remind us that we are incapable of goodness apart from God's grace. While professing Christians would claim the latter statement, our hearts often fall into the temptation of the...

Authentic Living

Disney's Mulan, originally released in 1998, is the story of a girl caught between serving her family and her country. In order to save her elderly father from conscription, she disguises herself as a man and takes his place in the Chinese military. What ensues ends up making Mulan a great Chinese heroine. Authenticity is one theme amongst several that underpin Mulan. She is fighting to be true to her family, her country, and herself, all while necessarily disguising who she truly is. The movie ends with a musical number titled, "True to Your Heart," which results in this message being the final takeaway as the movie comes to a close. That was nearly 20 years ago, yet the theme...

Be Careful Little Ears What You Hear

"Just a small town girl..." There are few statements as powerful as these five simple words. Go ahead. Sing the rest of the line. Maybe even go find the song to listen to. I'll still be here. Musical Memory If you left, thank you for valuing my writing enough to come back. If you didn't stray in order to listen to "Don't Stop Believin'", thanks for being here in the first place. This is my third and final blog in a (don't-call-it-a-series) series of posts that have been about thinking more carefully about what we allow to entertain us. Amongst the most powerful forms of entertainment is music. Among all of its capabilities, I wish to highlight only one: its...