I’ve just listened to the full SOF program of the first week of March. It seemed that the capsules of reflection and (some) reconsideration contained therein all had value and merit. But, across the current spiritual landscape as a whole, I would vouch that two important features went almost fully unconsidered. Firstly, there is a new generational responsibility in play today, somewhat the complement of what Dr. Guroian spoke to. Those of us who have grown children for whom education was narrower than our own, but who now have the responsibility of raising and nurturing a new generation, surely need to “plug fill” some of the gaps that were left open in the race for graduation diplomas and degrees, M.B.A.s or otherwise. The current economic situation is – after all – largely the result of opportunism (here in the U.S. at least) by our own baby-boomer set. (Not leaving aside that much of the ongoing, global environmental degradation also has the same root.) As a second observation, it seems that the SOF series has not delved into the role that art can play in gathering and catalyzing enthusiasms, and in uplifting the spiritual aspects of life. From the website it appears that no professional visual or musical artist has featured at all – to date – in the ‘Repossessing Virtue’ series. Ms. Min, in today’s program, may have been able to go on to cover some perspectives on these topics, from her viewpoint as a writer, but presumably had no scope to do so. (She did, however, speak eloquently on one aspect of the generational aspects of social change; that involving perspectives from within a new immigrant family.) History reveals that visual art, including architecture, plus poetry and music, have, through millennia, spurred huge spiritual renewals and growth, even in times of hardship and pestilence which would lay society low in any region of the “developed world” today. Why was it – for example – that live poetry and music were featured in the recent Presidential inauguration, against the visual backdrop of one of the U.S.’ finest architectural gems? It was not simply to provide an aesthetic experience. Fundamentally I do not take it to be constructive to attempt a wholly generalized answer to the “who will we be for each other?” question. Perhaps this would have been better phrased as: who can I become for the betterment of my family and community. In any event, my own baby-boomer generation needs nowadays, when either approaching or in retirement, to get concentrating upon leaving a positive legacy that outlives us (and not simply be adding to piles of Chinese-produced possessions). For myself, I’m committing to transition to being a full time artist, as a member of a local arts center focused upon teaching as well as exhibitions.
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