This speech was given when I was one day old. It resonates with my heart, how about yours?
On October 26, 1963, in an address given at Amherst College, President John F. Kennedy said, “I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft. I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of our citizens. And I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world not only for its strength but for its civilization as well.”
I’d like to think the president was preparing the world for me, but that is egotism to the extreme so I won’t go there. What I will say is this… The world has changed. Our schools were set up to make compliant factory workers, (check Seth Godin’s Linchpin for more on this) but the factories are closing down. What we need now are artists. Not just with a brush or a guitar or dance shoes or a script or a writing implement, but people who are willing to take whatever it is that they were created to do and creatively take it to the next level. When the world changes, doing things the way they have always been done before is a colossal waste of time. When the world changes,the creative, the ones who don’t waste time lamenting the bygone system, lead the way. What will you do with what you have been given?
Nowhere is this more important than the church. For how many years now have we lamented people falling away and hardened hearts to the Gospel. It’s time to stop that and create what comes next. We have a Gospel and a God that never change. They are our constants, our rocks, the foundation on which we build. Once we’ve established the non-negotiables, everything else is fair game. The materials given by God to forge a new reality. God is still God. His will is still in effect and this is not the first heart-hardened “generation.” Will we lament or will we create?
I don’t want to get into the politics surrounding this video, but it contains a good portion of the Kennedy speech and it’s worth hearing.