On a recent road trip I was flipping through the radio and heard a few of the classic rock songs that ruled, and still rule, the radio. “Stairway…,” “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “Freebird.” FREEBIRD! I noticed that many of these songs are cut short for modern radio play. Most of these classic songs are well over 10 minutes in length. I can only assume that stations don’t want that kind of time between commercial breaks.
This got me thinking about the state of creativity. It seems that creativity has steadily been harnessed in favor of efficiency and monetary gain. These examples came to mind:
- Song writers are challenged to make their songs more “accessible”. Accessible is code language for popular to radio audiences, or, in the case of Christian artists, church groups. The artist is pressured to compromise their art for greater exposure and ultimately financial gain.
- Carpenters are tempted to sacrifice the art and quality of their craft in order to make and sell things faster and cheaper.
- Authors are continually bombarded by marketers that are hyped up and eager to show them how to write a best selling book. They present some simple steps that will make a book more appealing to the masses, but the artist’s unique message gets lost in the process.
- Pastors are pressured to grow large congregations, under the guise of “reaching their world”. Sadly this often results in the message of the Bible getting corrupted. Many churches are simply a reflection of the pastor’s entrepreneurial abilities, or lack there of.
- Photographers who are passionate about capturing the raw, unfiltered beauty of the world around them, are pressured to use a host of computerized editing tools to alter the reality of what they capture. This can result in a more marketable product, but at what cost?
The list could go on and on. Somehow we have willingly allowed Industrial Age efficiency and profitability to rob us of some of the most timeless expressions. I don’t care who you are, or how old you are, when you hear some of the classic tunes your hand automatically reaches to turn it up and before long you are caught up in the moment. A moment brought to you by a person that was simply doing what they loved, despite pressure to do it a certain way, or in a certain time frame.
How about you? What is causing you to rob future generations of the opportunity to bask in the “moment” that your uniqueness can create. Stop listening to the voices that tell you how and when to do it and let your uniqueness create things that are timeless.