Photograph by Kristopher Roller
Moving too quickly:
There’s a constant unspoken ideological tug-of-war with the old-guard on the left and artists on the right.
The old-guard protects us from ever-hastening change and reminds us of our roots; for overly-accelerating innovation causes us to lose sight of who we really are, creating instability. They’re the ones who tell us to measure twice, double-check and make sure everyone’s safe. The artist pushes us forward, creating innovation and showing everyone a new perspective of the world. They’re the innovators, the bold and often the most fool-hardy.
Both the old-guard and artist desire a better world but disagree on methodology. They ask themselves, “At what cost,” with the old-guard concerned with what will be lost and the artist concerned with what has yet to be gained. These are both valuable points-of-view and should be considered before moving forward. When we forsake fruitful innovation for fruitless tradition, we lose opportunity and when we forsake fruitful tradition for fruitless innovation, we lose ourselves. Together, by maintaining fruitful tradition and innovation, we maintain ourselves and create better opportunities for who we may become.
In between the old-guard and the artist is everyone else. Ultimately, they’re the deciders of how our world will progress. It is the job of both the old-guard and the artist to pull everyone towards their directions and to share what’s important to them. Nonetheless innovation, like evolution, is driven by time. Over time, just as species mutates and evolves, so do ideas. For this reason the artist has a natural advantage, for people are naturally pulled towards the direction of innovation and progress of ideas. This inspires fear within the old-guard and passion in the artist, both of which need to be managed.
When creating change, artists must understand and be compassionate towards the opinions and fears of the old-guard. Their thoughts are neither “unintelligent” nor “unimaginative,” for there’s deep wisdom within their time-tested ideology. Should the artist find themselves pulling the people with ideas either untested or uncalculated, they’ll usher in difficult times. An over-swinging of the pendulum one way, causes a greater swing in it’s opposite. Innovations once heavily fought will be lost and harder to regain in the future. The turmoils of the world today were not created from nothing, they’re a reaction of pulling the rope too tightly.
The job of the artist is to develop an environment for her ideology, both safe for the old-guard and the people in the middle. Once it’s good enough, then you can begin pulling.