In this recession, as nearly everyone considers the fragile nature of existence in a country where we no longer make anything and even find ways to outsource our service jobs (I’m no economist, but is there a future in any of that?), we find that the atmosphere of gloom and doom drives us to find new ways of coping with life.
Some early reports suggested people will turn more to community, the desire to belong, to congregate, to be part of social networks that add value to life and provide some emotional support in hard times.
Those early reports, apparently, were misinterpreted by some religious communities as a hopeful sign that the recession would drive more people into synagogues and churches.
Now, the truth comes out: the recession is driving more people to Netflix (no wonder I still haven’t been able to get Burn Notice: Season 2 from Netflix).
Yep, Netflix has seen their profits rise 45% since the start of the recession. I read about it in an article in the May archives of Leadership Magazine (here, scroll to the May 10 article).
I am one for movies and entertainment. The new Star Trek movie made me cry — both times I watched it (and not just because we saw Spock again).
I am a Netflix member, an early adopter even. I get six movies at a time (but remember, I have eight kids).
But, as the title of a great book I have on my shelf says, are we Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment?
Honey, I worry about tomorrow. I could become another statistic. My whole world is crumbling. Let’s watch the latest Ashton Kutcher flick!
Hey, will Robert Deniro let your family move into his house when the mortgage company forecloses on you? Will Meryl Streep give you some grocery money or sit on your porch for an hour talking about life?
That leads me to a few question for discussion:
Have you found meaningful community through your faith?
What are the reasons that faith-community has meant so much to you?
What are the failures of community that have made your experience less than wonderful?
Does synagogue/church add real value to your life or is it a duty you bear grudgingly?
What can clergy like myself do to add value to community?
Is the idea of synagogue/church community so hopeless we should all increase our Netflix account?