Soul Repair for Our Culture

In the past three years I have sadly watched as one by one our local bookstores have closed.  Most recently Border’s began final sales in bookstores across the country.

Additionally, due to economic cutbacks many schools are no longer offering art or music programs.  Books, art, and music feed the soul.

Bookstores have always provided a haven for community life. Often they are the places where people meet for any number of reasons.  Bookstores are soul-nurturing sanctuaries.  I can’t imagine life without books (the kind made of  paper and ink)  and bookstores to peruse and linger in on rainy Sunday afternoons.

Our culture has a potential soul-sickness gestating.  Our schools have a life-giving responsibility to our children to provide exposure and inspiration for young creative hearts and minds.  When the opportunity to learn about and create beauty through the arts and crafts, music, dance and other forms of creative expression…. when these experiences are denied how can we expect our future world to have a soul.  Is technology, as some believe, going to ultimately be our demise?

E-books are the latest technological wonder.  Great for traveling… lightens the weight of the carry on bag for sure, but beyond that particular usage I can’t fathom why an E-Book holds more charm than an actual book that offers sensual texture… a particular touch, smell, and visual appeal.  I’m saddened to imagine the E-Book becoming the standard for reading anything in print.  What will our world be like without newspapers, magazines, books and the magical places where these are sold???

I’m beginning to pay close attention to how advertising is manipulating the culture towards E-books and away from anything printed on paper.  I’m also observing how young children in my life are in rapture with their computers and texting rather than out of doors on a summer’s afternoon with friends using their imaginations to create wonderment and play.

If you are reading this, obviously you’re on your computer.  I am hopeful you also read books…. the paper variety…. and visit your local bookstore…. and that you take time to play and imagine with a young person in your life.  I’m feeling called to proactively begin a Renaissance of the Spirit… let’s protect the experiences that nurture creativity and our sense of awe.  The collective soul of our children, our culture, and the future world just might depend on us staying awake, grabbing a book, and remembering we’re creative and our imaginations are the greatest untapped resource available at any given moment.

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