Sunday, July 29, 2018

Are We Taking Ourselves Too Seriously

Good morning.
"And the beat goes on........................."

We live in serious times.  Global movements threaten our sanity and security:  authoritarianism and attacks on safety, free speech, democracy and economic stability;  climate change and environmental degradation; the demise of the belief in science and the death of secularism.  And that's just the big stuff. Add to that all of the personal trials, tribulations and challenges each of us faces: financial insecurity for some; family issues for others; health concerns for still more, and the daily crap that life tends to deal us all, including the pressures of our jobs.

Oh my.

So it's very hard not to be real serious about all of this.  Living has become increasingly legitimately serious business.  But is it all?

"There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things, difficult."
                                                                           --Warren Buffett

Do we take at least some of it too seriously?  And that question applies to each of us as individuals, and, perhaps, to the nonprofit arts as a sector.  Has our worshipping at the serious altar eased the ability of the overall phenomenon of seriousness to insidiously worm its way into our lives, our work, our relationships, our moral compasses, and our beliefs.  Serious is now the default setting?  For everything? Well, that's not right.  We're gonna need to do something if that's where we're heading.'  

Maybe we're not there yet, but look around, that sure looks like where we're headed.

I think that's actually anti-the-arts.  The challenge is not to see everything as equally serious, but to figure out which things truly are and then deal with them.  There are plenty of things that are very serious, and there are a lot of things that really aren't serious, despite somebody saying they are.  And, of course, it's likely a matter of perception, and attitude.  And sometimes, even the serious stuff can't be taken seriously.

Are we now guilty of categorizing everything as serious?  Are we conflating cross categories simply because its easier, or because its expected, or because we're just lazy?  Dump it all in the 'serious' basket, we'll sort through it later.   That's a hell of an approach.

A failure to recognize seriousness as not always in our best interest needs to be considered, both for mental and systems health.  Indeed, it may be the only thing that might save the country in the long run.  Somehow we, as individuals, and we as part of the nonprofit arts sector, have to try to figure out where the line should be drawn so we can approach life in a saner way.

The arts help us in that quest, and for that alone should be cherished.

The upcoming Hundred Days War - in the fight to claim the US House of Representatives in November starts today, and that is serious.  Very serious.

But Not everything is serious.  Not everything.

Try not to be serious today.  Not tooooo serious anyway.  As a conscious effort.  See how that works.

Seriously!.............................{Sorry about that, but come on, how  could I not?? }

Have a good week.

Don't Quit