Faulty conclusions built upon poor evidence, mudslinging, personal attacks rather than grounded arguments—these are the sort of things that have taken over many public debates. They have led to people being hurt, voices being stifled, and little to no real progress being made. Can there be a better way? Can our society still have real, constructive debates?
Perhaps, but it will require people to pave the way, people with certain values, such as respect, accuracy, and looking into the past to seek wisdom. The good news for society is that it already has one such person it can count on. One person who will not only stand up for what he believes is right, but will back it up with evidence, and will seek to maintain both the relationship and the debate though he and his opponent be strongly opposed in their ideology. One person who will not allow the lessons history has left us to fade into obscurity or short-sighted ridicule.
Yes, there is still one who can give us hope that the future can learn from the past, and his name is Ian Paine.
Ian, who is now finishing up his senior year of high school, was born in Zwolle, Netherlands. Since then, he’s lived in a wide variety of places, including the Netherlands, Arkansas, and two cities in Turkey: Izmir and Aydin—the latter being where he currently resides. He has lived in Turkey for twelve years. Ever ambitious in his quest for knowledge, Ian took on six quite weighty classes this year, and though he has appreciated all the he’s learned in them, he does not recommend such a heavy workload for one’s senior year. Rather, he suggests taking some lighter classes and focusing on applying to universities and finding scholarships to pay for said universities. Heed it well, ye underclassmen.
A great appreciator of many genres of music, Ian finds it hard to choose a favorite, but he says his listening preferences generally include classic rock, folk, blues, and bluegrass, however, he enjoys listening to anyone who is skilled at playing their instrument.
Choosing a favorite artist is even harder for him, and he elaborates on this by likening it to choosing a favorite finger: “I would hate to lose any of them; they’re awful handy, and they all do different things so well.” Since it would be too painful to choose any one artist, he lists ten, thus nicely completing his simile: The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits), Billy Joel, Toto, Sting, Paul Simon, Reina Del Cid (and her guitarist, Toni Lindgren), Joshua Lee Turner (of The Other Favorites), and Keith Green. Ian also gave beautiful insights into what he appreciates about each artist, which I would have loved to include here, but alas, the world is fallen, and word limits exist.
As for his favorite movies, Ian lists three: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, which he appreciates for its realistic blurry lines between the three things listed in the title, as well as its portrayal of the Civil War; 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he maintains is the sci-fi movie all sci-fi movies aspire to be; and Jeremiah Johnson, which he likes because it reminds him that life is tough, and that that’s the way it’s supposed to be. His favorite book is Piers Plowman—a wonderful allegory of the Christian life.
When he’s not immersed in his intensive studying, Ian spends his time playing his guitars (both electric and acoustic), playing video games (mostly 2D platformers), and reading, which he laments how little of his workload allows him to do. He often goes walking through the city center late at night with his dad, and these times are some of the most special to him.
Ian plans to attend Berea College in Kentucky in the fall, majoring in History with a minor in Classics. He’s looking forward to seeing his love for literature and his love of history mixing together, and on top of that, he plans to study two classical languages. This is made slightly easier by the fact that he spent two years studying Greek with TPS, which he strongly recommends, as it teaches you to think about language in completely different ways. He’s not sure what he’ll end up doing after college yet, but he can envision himself going into academia, high school teaching, journalism, or authorship.
Ian’s favorite verse is 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” He says “This verse has been a great encouragement to me, and contains both a reminder of my sinful state, my need for my confession, the need for community (in the plural of “us”), and the gift of God in the form of forgiveness on Jesus behalf.”
The following is a message he’d like to leave the readers with: “There is no going back, only returning forward. That is, time moves only one way. Do not desire for things to be unchanging, especially those circumstances that are already in the past. It may sound cliché, but it turns out tropes are tropes for a good reason: they contain truth.”
Ian really is a beacon of wisdom and truth, and if more people thought through their words before speaking them as he does, there would be significantly less strife in the world. Until then, we can’t wait to see what amazing things God does through The Fantastic Mr. Paine.
Some Cool Things about a Cool Guy:
- Favorite Color: Blue
- TPS Classes 2018-19: AP Environmental Science, E6: College British Lit & Comp, AP Calculus BC, Sociology, College Western Civilization, and Worldviews
- Meyers-Briggs Type: INFP-A (The Mediator)
- Fun fact: He has one green eye and one blue eye
- Siblings: One sister, Lynn (who happens to write the cooking column for clay, which you should go check out)