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The only way to change culture is to create more of it. - Andy Crouch
This one idea completely changed the way I look at art, creativity, and my work. Growing up in a conservative Christian home, we always wondered how we can save a broken and sinful world. We had to be change makers, we had to make things right.
The way we’ve been shown to change the culture was by condemning, criticizing, or copying it.
The first two, condemning and criticizing culture, makes me livid. It makes me embarrassed and ashamed to be a Christian. We’ve seen too much of that from ignorant, self righteous people. Their bigotry and ignorance has made my faith a caricature.
Copying culture makes me cringe. Those that try to offer a “Christian” version of popular culture have been worse versions of what they are imitating.
It takes no real effort to condemn, criticize, or copy. You get to stand in the sidelines and point fingers so you can feel better about yourself, and feel as if you’re doing something important.
But creating more culture? That’s hard work. That’s putting skin in the game, taking responsibility. Culture is the way human beings make something of the world. It affects every aspect of our lives. The only way to change it is by creating more of the kind of culture we want to see.
When you do the courageous work of creating culture, it’s doesn’t become about us and them, or right or wrong. It’s not about saving the world, or converting the world to what you believe. It’s about connection, generosity, vulnerability, empathy, a contribution that makes things better.
Follow Along Upstream
And feel a little less alone on your quest to your most courageous work.