Friday, November 21, 2008

Out With the Old...In With the New

I had the opportunity to visit "Theology at the Bottleworks" in St. Louis last night. This event is hosted by The Journey Church and is held at the Bottleworks portion of Schlafly. According to Journey's website, "In older, simpler times, a pub or 'public house' was often the focal point of the community, playing a similar role to the local church, where people gathered to openly discuss significant issues of the day."

First of all, it was a VERY interesting night. Second, the topic was one close to my heart:

"What is the role of art in today's culture?"

At it's surface, this topic may appear to be quite mundane, but I can assure you that the dialogue was quite animated. I won't go into great detail and to be honest, it's a bit hard to describe the process. I encourage you to check it out for yourself.

Here are a few things that I took away from the evening:
  • There is a definite generational gap in our society - those that have been there and done that, and those who are still trying to get there
  • Those who have experience are typically more cynical than those without
  • The older generation is still trying to convince the younger one that the past is much better then the future
  • Despite the circumstances, younger people are still trying to make a difference in the world
  • The older generation think first and feel later...the younger feel first and think later
  • Typically the older generation tend to be more conservative; the younger more liberal
These are just a few observations from one particular event at one particular moment in time. That doesn't necessarily make them accurate. What I found interesting is that the younger generation is still trying to dream big. They invite change, not discourage it. They feel emotions at a deeper level and are trying to express themselves in as many ways as they can.

At my age, I find myself in the middle of both camps. My experiences have given me wisdom (at times!) but I still feel that passion burning inside of me that I MUST make a difference. I still want to dream and create and scream and fight and to let everyone know that we can embrace change. It won't be perfect (and neither are we) and sometimes it will get messy. But that doesn't mean it won't be worth it. That doesn't invalidate the idea.

Sometimes opening up a discussion about a topic as simple (and complex) as art can stimulate a whole new world of thinking. And that is not a bad place to be.

What has stimulated your thinking lately?

4 comments:

Matt said...

Interesting post... Haven't been thinking much lately myself, just trying to sleep :)

Mel said...

What a great experience...I'm so glad you shared your thoughts! I know we talked about it after you came home, but I love reading your processing of the event. I'm like you...I feel I'm standing in the middle of the two. I have that deep longing to make a difference...to live life fully and deeply...to laugh and laugh loudly...to love strongly and without reserve. I unfortunately find myself becoming more reserved and cautious in my thinking. My ideal "place" to be would be merging the passion of my youth with the wisdom (that makes me smile, do I have any wisdom?)that age has brought. You know what I have noticed lately....more laughing out loud...and I am grateful for that!!!

Crys said...

Wade and I have also been to The Journey. We both left challenged by what was being done through that church.

In response to your question, there has been a quote by David Crowder that keeps rolling around in my head. He said, "There is a difference between sympathy and justice. Sympathy is seeing people drowning and pulling them to safety. Justice is getting out and going up stream and seeing who is throwing every in the water."

Michael Goldsmith said...

Matt...be sure to get some rest!

Mel...what can I say? I love you more!

Crystal...great quote...Crowder is definitely a smart man!