To change or not to change? That is the question.

I’ve posted this on my different venues, so some may find it a repeat.
Here are a couple questions that revolve around younger people – I suppose Gen Y types (teens to mid-twenties). I truly do want to hear what others thing about this, because our notions of these things will affect the future of the Church and how it is conducted (what we do and whether what we do meets the honest needs of future generations – remember, we could “get it,” but if we don’t others will):
Unlike myself and others who deal with the constant CHANGE out of necessity but have not grown up in the midst of this cultural phenomena and do not intuitively consider it the norm, the younger generation(s) do consider unrelenting change to be the intuitive-norm. It just is – just like texting just is.
1.) In an intuitively experienced world where the norm is constant change, perpetuated by the fluidity of knowledge, the speed and immediacy of communications, and in a post-modern milieu of inconsequential meta-narrative, in this kind of world is the desire for something constant becoming a whelming inner-need (whether recognized or not) within/among younger people?
2.) Is the culturally-experienced-notion-of-change spurring within us a desire for that which is tried, stable, and hearkens to something unchangeable that can be held onto for a sense of security or stability?
3.) Could this be a reason why generationally, younger folks seek out spiritual experiences that encourage and exemplify tradition, mystery, and ancientness? (Obviously knowing that not all people seek out these kinds of things, but demographically this does seem to hold true for this generation.)
4.) Could this be a sign for us as a Church to not be so quick to depend on the Baby-Boomer-generational-need to remake everything and perpetuate a constant change away from the ancient, the staid, the traditional rendering of things?
Remember, as much as Baby-Boomers rebelled against the 1950’s “Leave It To Beaver” kind of life-experience, they still benefited from the positive aspects of growing up within that kind of world. The later generations were removed more and more from those positive aspects until now we don’t know how to slow-down, be quiet, or experience a sense of serenity because of this inbred cultural compulsion to constant and every speedier change.
In a society where nothing is very stable, a seeking for and a need for something that is stable can become an incredible need for our own wellbeing. “Be still and know that I am God,” becomes in the currently-normal-life something that just may not be possible for too many people, and yet people desire to know that which is True (contra post-modernism), tried, mysterious, and stable.
5.) What is the role of the Church in all this?
I think that we have under the leadership of the Baby-boomer generation perpetuated much needed change, but the goal is not unrelenting change. I think for some the goal, whether recognized or not, has become constant change. I think we can only maintain this for so long before we sense the excess and negative results of this kind of existence. I think the younger generations are beginning to understand this, if only through a sense that “something just isn’t quite right.”
Right now, for the sake of the younger generations that may well be overwhelmed with the phenomena of unrelenting change in all areas of life, we need to stop for a bit, step-back, and evaluate what we have wrought. If we can get out of a Baby-boomer inspired anti-establishmentarianism and rebellion against that which is traditional or tries to be constant, we might see that things do need to and will change, but there also needs to be something that ties us back and secures us as we move forward in the same way that a tether holds an astronaut to the spaceship. In the exploration of space, the astronaut always comes back to the ship. Change without the benefit of wisdom born of patience, experience, and humility will not in the long run accomplish the desired effect.
6.) Could there be more to the Gen Y affinity for Rite I language, for churches that look gothic-esque (“looks like a church”), for traditional liturgies and rituals – something other than a normal and dismissive explanation of, “oh, they’re just rebelling against their parents’ way of doing things?”
7.) Could there be building within this generation an intuitive sense that unrelenting change is not benefiting the soul-of-man as some would like to believe, and that for them they see in the institution of the Church that thing which still understands and values (at least some do) and maintains a sense of the unchangable, the very True, the tether that keeps them from spinning off into “death” of whatever form?

The horns blow in the City

This is another one of those cool, foggy mornings. As I sit here and write about questions concerning the effects of “constant change” (my next post), I hear the fog horns on the bay and East River. I feel the closer one in my chest. One calling to another, “I am here. Be careful.” The other calling, “I hear you. Hear I am, be careful.” One after the other, the horns blow. One to all the others. One closer than the others.
It’s funny to think of this kind of thing in this kind of City. Perhaps I expect to hear old fog horns only in small fishing towns, but New York City? Sometimes, it is hard to remember that this place sits on the ocean, surrounded by two rivers, a bay, an ocean. The sound of fog horns just doesn’t jibe with the notion of modern New York City, for some strange reason. I like it.
Go Tribe!

What have we become?

Considering my previous post about 9/11 & 9/12, some additional thoughts as I’ve read some bloggers writing about the need for the U.S. to defend itself, which means in their minds the justification of intervention in other countries.
Has anyone consider the example of Switzerland? A neutral country throughout the Cold War. A neutral country, still. A prosperous and free country. A trusted and respected country. They don’t belong to the EU or NATO. They spend a lot of money on “defense,” but none of their efforts are going around the world and starting wars in other places. They are surrounded by other countries, some of whom over the years have been hostile. They don’t feel themselves to be victims, vulnerable, or insecure, despite the fact that they are in truly far more vulnerable than we are.
I think the first and foremost aspect of “security” is in the mind. If we feel insecure, we are going to do stupid things and act irrationally. There are those people who will play on our insecurities for their own purposes – whether they may be our own politicians or terrorist groups. As a matter of fact, the power terrorists have over us, more than not, is their ability to instill irrational fear and cause us to be other than what we have traditionally been – that which made us strong and trusted and honorable.
The terrorists groups aided by our own politicians have caused us to be what we have traditionally not been – we have become something other than strong, trusted, and honorable in the eyes of a good part of the world. Whether we ever have another physical terrorist attack on our soil or not, the terrorists have already won a good part of the battle.

What’s up with women and exhaustion

I know this is going to appear to be something not intended, but I think these two articles get at something that I’ve been mulling over for years. Below are two articles, one from Sky News (Murdock’s European CNN), and the other article which references the Sky News report is from “Christian Worldview Weekend,” which is an ultra-rightest Christian organization extolling the virtues and need for a “Christian” worldview (while I agree with their idea of developing a “Christian Worldview”, the worldview they champion is more hard-right Americanism than Christian, IMHO).
Sky News: What Is Wrong With The Thirties?
Worldview Weekend: Stressed Out Moms: Feminism’s Dirty Little Secret
Both articles are about exhausted and overworked 30 and 40 something women. From the early days of the feminist movement, the idea that women can “have it all” has been realized by woman who are simply too exhausted to be, what??? Along with this, in the U.S. at least, comes the expectations of newlyweds – we have to have it all right away. One spouse works just to pay for daycare for the children because not to work in a is to not be actualized, and because, well, it isn’t modern, or liberated, or cool for a parent to be a “stay at home mom or dad.” (Well, perhaps it might be considered liberated for a dad to take care of the kids full-time, who knows.)
I am not at all complaining about the needed change in our society with regards to how women were generally perceived and welcomed into all parts of society – equally with men. What I will complain about is this notion that developed, and I am old enough to remember it well, that for a woman to be a full-time mom and raise her and her husband’s children is to deny her womanhood, her freedom, and to remain an ignorant subordinate under the domination of a patriarchal society.
My goodness, how in the world did nurturing, teaching, and the development of the next generation become such a negative thing? Even in the hay-day of the women’s liberation movement, we need to remember that there was still and is still a significant percentage of women that want to be and are full-time moms. The societal notion of full-time motherhood as a negative is changing, of course, but it is not yet an accepted position in society that to stay home and raise children and manage the household is a noble and worthwhile endeavor. Ironically enough, the change is germinating within younger women who are not bound to the early feminism, even if they benefit from it in their honest ability to choose what they want to do. Many are choosing full-time motherhood, to the chagrin of many of the original feminists. I’ve heard this refereed to as “the new feminism” or “post-feminism.” Whatever it may be called, it sure ain’t your grandma’s feminism.
Listen, my sister was a full-time mom and she is anything but subservient and submissive! She may be considered a traitor to the cause of women by some, but you let anyone try to lay that label on her and see what you get. Now, because of a decision to simplify their lives, for the time being she works in developing Web-applications and IT.
Anyway, the misplaced societal pressure for “super-woman” and the intended diminishment of the role of men in society, well, we are now reaping the harvest that was planted so many years ago.
Go back to the 1950’s? Go back to Stepford wives? Of course not, but there does need to be a change toward more balanced expectations by both society and men and women. If not, we are going to try to continue living this lie of prosperity and actualization while we are internally devoid of meaning and end up exhausted shells.