Caving to Capitalism?

I went back to school for a graphic design degree at the beginning of this year. After 3 semesters (including summer), I’ve decided to go a different route. Starting next semester, I will be transferring to Rose State College to pursue an associate’s degree in business. I’ve already had a few strange reactions to this decision. I think the assumption is that I’m going to become some kind of corporate sellout. Honestly, I don’t want to wear long sleeves for the rest of my life. So, obviously, I’m going another direction with this.

The initial benefit to getting a better understanding of how businesses work will help me while I’m working for my mom. Right now, I do a lot of the work at her office (she’s a counselor). But, I’d like to be able to do more, i.e. the finances. That’s short term.

Convergence has been a disjointed idea in my head for at least 5 years. My eventual vision is to get a space which has multiple functions. The full vision is yet to be realized. I think it will depend on who is involved and what direction we feel like it should go. But, in some respect, it is a “business.” If I’m going to be “managing” how everything runs and the people who are helping, I need to know at least something about management. Right now, I know next to nothing.

Starting right now, we have the opportunity to make people aware of things going on locally and around the world through our events. We also have the opportunity to treat people fairly. So, hopefully we can stick to sustainable and socially responsible business practices, long term. At our first show, we were graciously donated Fair Trade, Organic coffee from Primacafe. Great stuff. We also put out info cards about Fair Trade. We want to be able to do more things like this. As Convergence progresses, hopefully we can be part of indwelling the business world, creating relationships with nearby businesses, being hospitable to people with no agenda, and much more.

Maybe I’m walking a hard line. Maybe it’s next to impossible to remain a faithful follower of Christ and be a good “businessman,” but maybe that’s what we’re called to do, to “live the tension.”

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Caving to Capitalism?

  1. Rob

    Can I brag on you a little bit? I am really impressed with how your view of God impacts how you “operate” and how you treat other people. Often, there is a disconnect about who the character of God is and how we interact with others on a daily basis. When I think of examples of people I see living missionally, you are one of the first thoughts that come to my mind. I think the new route you are heading on could be very fruitful, and I want to support you in whatever way you see God moving. The church, and really the world need people like you who are not “businessmen” in the way we think of them, but people who honestly want to pursue ways in which people can live healthier, fuller lives. Thanks for your example man.

  2. Thanks man. I often wonder if I’m moving in the right direction with anything that I’m doing. But, when I have people speaking honestly into my life about things, it really helps. I know there are several people who will do more than just tell me what to do. We all need that. Thanks for your encouragement.

  3. What is this Convergeance? What kind of space are you looking for nowadays? I always like the contemporary live/work spaces with an open floorplan…i say that, but am moving to a very vintage live/work space that will have to be worked with. i barely remember my business classes from college. i remember alot of theory, little practical stuff. but LA are bucking the system and working for ourselves. we have no one to sell out to…

  4. Jared

    I know that my initial reaction was probably not that supportive, and for that I want you to know that I am deeply sorry and a truly ashamed of a bookish snobbiness that seems to be pretty common on my part. That said, make sure that your motives are what you say they are. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked myself into things I had no business doing with some very beuatiful words and breathtaking logic, only to find that I should have been more patient and pushed through someplace else. I do hope that you follow through with the daunting task that you’ve set out for yourself, Lord willin’ and the creeks don’t rise, as my Grandfather always said. I hope too that Laura and I can be of, at least, some small amount of help.

  5. Rob

    I am definitely beginning to agree with Wright on many things. He brought up in a lecture how it was next to impossible to be involved in politics where he lives and remain faithful to God, but rather than encouraging a withdrawal from corrupt systems(Hauerwas), he encouraged engagement (Wilberforce), indwelling.

  6. Jared

    It’s a bit odd that I was exposed to the ethics of Hauerwas and the story of Wilberfoce at the same time and they both made me contemplate the political climate in the air at that time.

  7. You should listen to this past year’s Emergent Conversation with Miroslav Volf. There’s some interesting dialogue about Hauerwas, both from Volf (friend but not fan of Hauerwas) and attendees who are Hauerwas devotees.

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