Tuesday, June 28, 2005Today I recieved the Innocence Mission's Now the Day Is Over in the mail. I ordered it a few weeks back, so it was nice to finally get it. My friends will tell you that I'm almost a missionary about this band; I won't shut up about them. This is delicate music. In particular this album is full of lullabies, songs a mother sings to her children as they drift off to sleep. So much of the band's music is like a snapshot into their quiet life. I'm just thankful they invited the rest of us along.
I saw this post on individualism this morning at Mere Comments. Individualism is something I think of pretty often. In high school you regard yourself as an individual for drawing on your sneakers or trying to grow long hair (if you're a guy). There's so much more to it than that, and I would argue that when carried beyond the bound of adolescence, certain forms of individualistic self-expression can be annoy at worst, damaging to the community at best. True American individualism was more a matter of self-reliance, not a decision to express oneself at all costs to others.
I'm not saying it's wrong to march your own beat; that can - usually - be fine when talking about hair styles, manners of dress or choice in music. I think the danger in individualism is any sense that we owe nothing to the broader community or to our own families. To ignore that call is rather perilous in my own estimation. I want to be free to dress how I like in most situations or listen to what I like, but, for example, once I find myself engaged or married, I have made certain commitments and thus subsequent desires to express myself (which I pray I shall never have) must take a backseat to my commitment to my family and the larger community (both spiritual and political) of which I am a part.