Heading to Houston

Here’s my piece on that great city in the Houston Chronicle. Incidentally, I will appear in Houston with Mayor Bill White on Thursday afternoon for an event co-hosted by the Houston Arts Alliance and the Greater Houston Partnership.

Pundits are fond of comparing Americans to Romans and forecasting our imminent fall. The plain truth is that we’re living up to the reputation. But as we enter the death spiral of our civilization, we also stand poised for rebirth. This is the end of the end, and the beginning of the beginning. In other words, this is what it looks like right before a renaissance.

In the post-industrial world, we were defined by what we consumed. Owning things — a home, a nice car — became the predominant way of creating meaning in life. Now, as our financial markets reel, money no longer holds the same value. Fear and emptiness are adjacent lots in this crisis.

Seismic shifts in the way we create meaning are reorganizing our work, leisure and belief systems; in essence, our culture. In this environment, the smartest way forward is to look within the culture and discover ways to harness its creative power to ignite a rebirth. Read more…