Recycled Culture

We live in a recycled culture. Creative thought is no longer about originality, but rather about copy and paste. We see someone else’s idea, claim it, and make it our own. We feast on sequels, pine after everyone else’s success, and picnic on a past that we mold into our own ‘original’ thoughts. Nothing seems to be truly creative anymore. Its all been done before, and so few of us even try to create something from our hearts.

This observation poses a question to challenge our way of thinking: Am I cultivating culture or mirroring culture?

There is such a huge difference between these two concepts. To mirror, one simply holds up a similar reflection of what has been done already, but to cultivate is to plant, nourish, and build from the ground up. To mirror is to copy; to cultivate is to create. A mirror does no work on its own, it simply takes from the world around it, whereas, something cultivated fights to exist and creates a world of its own. And because it is so easy to duplicate and tweak the world around us that is often what we do.

We ask ourselves questions like, “Why work so hard to create something? Isn’t it challenging enough as it is? Isn’t it better to take the simpler path to creative thought, and express ourselves instead of spending our whole lives seeking cultivated perfection?” These are all valid questions, but here are my thoughts of the subject:

We shouldn’t simply settle for good enough. God created mankind in his image (Genesis 2) and that image was a creative image. God created because he is in his essence a Creator. It is into such an image that we are birthed. Our desire for expression stems from the one whose very nature permeates creative movement. Wouldn’t it follow then, that our skills, talents, abilities, and passions should flow from the depths of the image of the original Creator? I believe so. There is a depth of beauty that we lose in our ‘copy/paste’ mentality. If we simply mirror the work of others our expression loses our heart. Our passion can only stem from the ground that we ourselves cultivate and nurture. It is here that we create a world of our own: a world of beauty, hope and originality.

I write this in hopes that you too will find your creative movement, and that your passion, heart, and creative signature would reflect not the creations of the world, but rather the image of the Creator Himself.

Comment Question:  What are some of your passions/creative endeavors? 


About Jeremiah Dowling

I write poetry and take crazy pictures in an Orange Chair all over the United States while reading amazing books.

2 responses to “Recycled Culture”

  1. WhoWeAm says :

    I enjoy talking about and analyzing creative work. And while I do understand your sentiments I have to question your accuracy on the statement that nothing seems to be truly original anymore. Originality is relative and there a very few things that humans can create and call it “one of a kind”. We are all just the ideas and opinions of those that came before us. I would say originality is in the way a person does something, and not just in what they do. Take for instance the “meme”. It’s a new take on something old, and the medium it’s presented through (the internet) is completely new. The latest popular meme is of the pepper spraying cop at UC Davis . The various ways it’s been re-produced on the internet speaks to the fact that creativity and originality still exist, they are just expressed in a totally new medium.

    • thestorymovement says :

      Thanks for your thoughts!

      When I spoke of ‘nothing’ being truly original I was thinking a lot about what drives culture. I was in no way saying that originality isn’t possible, but rather, that a lot of times we find it easier to ‘copy and paste’ and so follow the easy path. We fit ourselves into a mold too easily. Whether it is film, music, popularity or even social justice, it is so easy for us to follow rather than lead. For us to mirror rather than cultivate. I totally agree that originality can be about how a person does something, but I also feel like it is about what they do. I don’t know many people who think of creativity as just the process. It is through the result that we admire how a person creates and the process they journeyed on to get there.

      Granted, there are some things that can never be ‘one of a kind’, but I feel like the mind in each individual is ‘one of a kind’ and it is through these minds that God uses man to create angles and strokes that have never quite been captured like that before. I understand that it is hard to peg something as original, but my purpose for this article is to inspire people to create from their hearts, not for what ‘trending’; from their passions not from the mass populace.

      Thanks again for your thoughts and comment!

      In Christ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: