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Shaping Culture

February 28, 2023

Culture is upstream of politics.

In other words, people are more influenced by culture than policies. And the power of cultural influence eventually affects the way that people think, the way that people believe, and, ultimately, the way that people vote.  

As Andrew Fletcher, an eighteenth-century Scottish patriot, famously said: “Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.” Fletcher understood that music moves people and influences their feelings about the world around them far more deeply than a political philosophy.

Can I be honest with you? I believe that many of our most celebrated artists are not shaping the culture in a positive way. You can sub out artists for a plethora of other words: actors, rockstars, entertainers, comedians. 

The prevailing message of influencers to our society is that personal desires are king. The message is that anything that stands in the way of your personal happiness must be a bad thing. It’s a me-centered culture. And a culture focused on self is a culture of fractured, disunified, and lonely people.

This post isn’t really a rant against the current culture, as much as it’s a plea for you to get involved. 

Don’t choose to sit out. Every single leader can have an influence on our culture, and we desperately need people with strong values to stand up. 

Abraham Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” If you were to walk into a high school classroom today, what would be the philosophy of the students? Who do you think is promoting that philosophy? 

We need people with strong values to make great music, to write compelling novels, and to create entertaining television and movies.


If you’re like me, it’s tempting to see the world around us and want to retreat. We want to pull back and surround ourselves with a bubble of people who think like we think, believe what we believe, and act like we act. But removing ourselves from the culture is not the answer. In fact, it’s part of the problem. 

It does no good to sit on the sidelines. It’s time to get involved, and it’s time to start creating things that promote strong values.

Make the decision to be someone who creates culture, not just criticizes it. Go create something good. The world needs it. 


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