Our world is constantly changing - progress is the act of moving forward and embracing the change. Nevertheless, fear is a powerful driver. And anxiety about the unknown is probably the most commonly expressed. I believe the current phenomenon of trying to inhibit and regulate all the "newness" of those seeking ethnic (racial), LGBTQ+, healthcare, and female equity - are most likely the result of our cultural fascination with preserving the status quo. It demands that people go to great lengths to protect it - when there is the threat of change or the loss of something they value. When we look at life from the perspective of deficit instead of abundance, the fear becomes even more real. Hoarding is just one response, as are behaviors designed to grab the attention of peers, family, or even the media.
This tug of war between new and old ways is as old as humanity. It is the reason we have generational putdowns and misunderstandings. And why our society feels so very divided right now.
But, I can also see this antagonism clearly in the teenagers I spend my days with at DRC. Their lives are especially fraught. The very definition of the teen years is - change and inconsistency. The hormonal shifts and their reach for autonomy conflict directly with their desire to crawl back into childhood where decision-making is easy (do I want to wear the blue socks or the yellow ones) - are crazy-making. They seek out self-determination and all the adult things that come with it - yet they are unsure because it is overwhelming, anxiety-inducing, and they have learned through societal training that they can't practice, because making mistakes, the intrinsic way all humans learn - is unacceptable and straight-up bad.
The most common criticisms I hear about teens are their levels of unpredictability and irresponsibility. I am sure you have seen the meme over the past couple of years, "freedom without responsibility is adolescence." Every time I see it on social media, I want to scream. First off, the expression should read, "freedom without responsibility makes you a jerk (or less polite euphemism) no matter your age." Secondly, teens are not lazy, and they don't evade accountability. They are deep thinkers, and yes they are even conscientious, community-oriented, and kind. But, yes, they can also be ruthlessly unrelenting and fearlessly galvanized when they set out to fix injustices in their world.
I spend so much of my time trying to convince the teens in my life that they are not lazy, irresponsible bums just because they are not doing the rote tasks that society expects from them. These stereotypes spread over an entire generation are the source of damage that I see every day. And when people are traumatized or fearful, they are motivated to behave in ways directly in conflict with their innate nature or intentions.
Weekly Creative Meditation
The first DRC-East fundraiser is live! Please click the link and share with your network! You can also join the DRC East Fundraising FB Group to follow the action. The person running the Thirty-One fundraiser for us is donating her entire commission! We are immensely grateful for her generosity.
Our goal with this series of fundraisers and the culminating craft show/live music event May 21st is to raise the $60k needed to purchase the church that the East Peeps are currently renting. Owning it would allow us to use the space more effectively and use our creative talents to personalize it. The East kids also envision making it into a community cultural and creative resource center. It will be a place to invite local people to participate in artistic and educational events. Their first idea is to have a monthly brown-bag lunch film series. The Resource Center could also host guest speakers, live music events, and art shows.
Stay tuned as details for all of the fundraisers, including the May 21st event, coalesce. Thank you!