I’ve been thinking about what it means to create a personal culture, and how it is essential to life. To be sure, the very idea of linking “personal” with “culture” is contradictory. Culture necessitates some kind of communal relationship; you really can’t have a cult of one. (I think that’s called narcissism.) On the other hand, there’s something powerful about saying, “This is who I am, this is what I do, and these are the values I choose to accentuate in my life.”
I recently saw the movie Moonrise Kingdom. The premise of the film is that two adolescents fall in love and decide they want to spend the rest of their lives together. Clearly this is inappropriate because they are too young for such a decision, and so all the adult organizations surrounding them try to thwart their plans. Scout leaders try to stop them. Families try to stop them. Local authorities try to intervene. It’s a comedy, to be sure, but there’s a more serious point that comes through this wonderful Wes Anderson film, namely, that it’s never easy to find a way to live the life you feel you should be living.
What do you most value?
Are you living the life you want to live?
Are you arranging the right kind of experiences around your existence?
Is it time to ask the question: What does God want for me?
Creating a personal culture helps us move toward the world. And that’s a good thing. At the same time, creating a personal culture protects us from the world. It empowers us to find happiness while surrounded by miserable conditions and less-than-positive situations. And so begin today. Take one step toward creating the personal culture of you. Interestingly enough, the more you create your culture, the better it is for everyone around you.