Build a Culture

I visited my folks and caught a glimpse of the Masterpiece Theater show VictoriaIt looked quite good, and there was a lovely scene of a young Victoria singing while her husband tries to accompany her on piano. It struck me just how much culture and entertainment have changed. So I ask you, if you could, how would– or could–you build a culture differently within your family? Neighborhood? Novel?!

I’m surprised how much I’ve taken that question to heart. Must be my homeschooling ways! 😉

I’d love to say we’re going to start reciting poetry every night. Honestly, I’m not sure how my husband would react!

I’d love to saw we’ll sing hymns and gather round the piano for some rip-roarin’ folk songs! Um, nope. My musical training just isn’t up to par with that.

But maybe my husband and I can be a bit more mindful of just what culture we already surround in: the senses of humor we cultivate, our selections of shows, films, read alouds, etc. We do cultivate a culture and it is not the seething monster so often decried.

As my father has said, family is the foundation of culture, although on a growing scale they are dysfunction to the detriment of both. Still, my house, my home, my influence . . . not to domineer my children or caricature people or ways, but to spread delight, gratitude, and ways to love and serve. These things, and not just settings of music or avant garde artists or underclad characters, build culture. Vocation!

We may not be equipped to build a culture from scratch all our own–and I’m not suggesting we need to–but maybe it’s train of thought to ponder. All of that applies to world-building, setting, background material, and formational stuff for both fiction and nonfiction, right? Forming characters, building layers of influence and tendencies, and then grasping to hold our audience’s attention and inclination . . .

Build a culture, write a culture, discern or change a culture: timely topics for both writers and Christians these days and every age.

Maybe I should add The Benedict Option to my reading list when I’ve finished Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child😉


1 Comment

Filed under As Christian Writers, As Theological Writers, Audiences, Writer Troubles, Writer's Life

One Response to Build a Culture

  1. Fascinating thoughts, Mary! Since I knew what it was, I’ve felt a little outside of popular culture, so maybe that’s why I enjoy writing stories set in the past. But working to influence culture, rather than merely strive against it? How intriguing! And really, it makes so much sense, especially from a Christian perspective: let your light shine.

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