Choice and Change

Every choice we make shapes our destiny.

The genesis of the Renaissance, as Pope John Paul II wrote, was the favorable cultural climate that encouraged so many exceptional artists to blossom.

So it is today. We will not see a great change in our culture until we see a greater change in us.

Some artists are calling for Renaissance. Others are calling for Revival. Still others are calling for Revolution.

New Quoin believes that change will come if we recognize the interdependence of these three models, and if we act on this knowledge we have to bring about change.

Once we recognize the relationship between revival, revolution and renaissance, the only thing left is to find what we are looking for.

REVIVAL: Today we see an obsession with being new. We want new things. We want new experiences. We want new lives. It’s too time-consuming to change ourselves internally, so we try to quick-fix ourselves externally. The corporate machines that are incessantly marketing new and improved products feed off our desperation.

The truth is we don’t want to throw everything away for something new. We only want to get rid of the parts of ourselves and the parts of our world that don’t work anymore.

We are sick and tired of being sick and tired. What we are really looking for is renewal. We are looking, in a manner of speaking, to die to our old ways and to be reborn to a new life of freedom, happiness and connection with ourselves and with our world. In a word, we want revival.

REVOLUTION: We will not have revival as long as we continue to apply utilitarian measurements to everything that is important in our culture.

As long as we continue to ask ‘What is art for?’ as though art without commercial purpose is a waste of effort, we will continue to degrade our own role in the culture as customers rather than the patrons we are called to be.

As long as we continue to put our faith in boundless economic growth instead of in our calling to love and to serve and to sacrifice, we will continue to suffer isolation, alienation and depression. As long as we continue to identify ourselves with brands instead of with our common origin and our common destiny, the only change we will see is what is left in our pockets after a purchase.

If we continue to find meaning and self-worth only in what we produce and what we consume, we will continue to slide toward that definition of insanity that does the same things over and over again expecting different results.

RENAISSANCE: When we revolt, we must remember that what we want is to express our real selves, to empower our self-nature and to connect with the wisdom of the spirit within us. When we do so, we are halfway to renaissance.

But we have to be truthful about another and often completely overlooked prerequisite of Renaissance: death.

Before we can have an intense and widespread outpouring of artistic effort that enlivens our sense of purpose and service, we must bury what is dead. There is no awakening without sleep. There is no healing without a wound. And there is no rebirth without death. We speak here of death in its spiritual sense but also in a corporate sense of a culture bereft of its virtue and abandoned to its own bad choices.

Once we decide to “die” to our utilitarian way of seeing value only in what produces monetary wealth, we have the groundwork for a renaissance.

What’s left is where we find it.

We find Renaissance in the quest and in the experience of beauty and truth. Art is a wonderful place to start. Music, painting, poetry, dance, drama, cinema and literature are paths to this rebirth.

It is a choice we make every time we buy a novel.
And every choice we make shapes the culture around us.