Saturday, December 17, 2016

Whatever is…Cute? The Most High endorses Cute Overload?


I love this image of the cat (in the hat) and Bing Crosby. It’s taken from one of my favorite Christmas movies, the classic, “The Bells of St. Mary’s,” starring Mr. Crosby and Ingrid Bergman.


The humorous scene involves Bing Crosby’s character, Father O’Malley, addressing the parish of nuns he recently was appointed to. It’s seemingly “business as usual,” as he embarks on his speech, that is, until a cat gets ahold of his hat on the fireplace mantel. For the next few minutes, as Father O’Malley is all about church business, and the nuns are all chuckling at the adorable scene of the cat stumbling around in that hat which is too big for his cute little fuzzy head.

It hardly seems like a great example of productivity.

But recently, the cute factor was studied regarding productivity. Check out more of what a recent article, written by Liz Acosta, Japanese Study: Looking at Cute Things Makes You Smarter,” mentioned:


 “…In a series of tests, researchers at Japan's Hiroshima University asked 48 subjects -- all between the ages of 18 and 22, right handed, and equally divided between men and women -- to play a game similar to the classically anxiety-inducing Operation after viewing a variety of images ranging from food, people, and adult and baby animals. The experiment was designed to test for fine motor dexterity. During the multiple times subjects played the game, they were shown images of puppies and kittens before at least one of those sessions…

…The results? In the rounds following the puppy and kitten viewings, subjects performed about 44 percent better. Viewing adult dogs and cats also helped subjects play the game better, but only by 5 percent…

…In another experiment designed to test concentration, 16 students were given the task of identifying a particular number (for example, the number 6) out of a group of 40 printed on sheets of paper without pointing. They were similarly shown images of baby animals, grown-up animals, and foods such as pasta, steak, and sushi. Students performed better after viewing baby animals, while images of adult animals and food had no effect.

In their last test, a set of 36 subjects were tested for focus by responding to letters on a screen. Again, the group of 18 women and 18 men was shown images of baby animals, adult animals, and appetizing food. And again, subjects who looked at the baby animals were able to focus better than the subjects who looked at adult animals or food….

…While the study did not explore how and why looking at cute adorable fuzzy babies makes us smarter, researchers concluded ‘that perceiving cuteness not only improves fine motor skills but also increases perceptual carefulness.’ The researchers added, ‘This study provides further evidence that perceiving cuteness exerts immediate effects on cognition and behavior in a wider context than that related to caregiving or social interaction.’"

In today’s popular culture landscape, there are numerous cute websites out there, like “Cute Overload,” “Dog Shaming,” “Love Meow” and “I Can Has Cheezburger” (their spelling and grammar, not mine), just waiting to preoccupy us. I have often sunken into the vortex myself every single time I get writer’s block.

And yes, looking those cute critters are often times more enjoyable than our actual work environment.

But could it be that there is a spiritual law in effect here?

Anyone? Anyone?

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

Works for me!

What if, indeed, thinking on things which inspire either awe or “awwwwwh,” we were more productive, healthier and happier? We often make things more complicated than they need to be, don’t we?

This holiday season, let’s take more time to look at and think about some cute, sweet, good, kind and whimsical things.

Go! Go ahead, check out Cute Overload now!
Copyright © 2016 by Sheryle Cruse



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