If you know me at all, you know that I believe telling alternative stories will change the world faster than violence or politics.

It is in this spirit that I suggest the person who gives the speech in the video below would serve the world better from a grassroots level, than a political one.

This coincides with a comment by my friend Mark on that has been making me think:

It strikes me that “alternative” was once synonymous for “non-commercial” in the same way “Christian” was synonymous with “contra-empire” in the first couple centuries. Both were co-opted – alas, alt barely had a chance to exist before getting sucked into the market. Theres a downside and an upside to this, the downside being obvious (a total 180 on the mission), but the upside being wider distribution of the “alt” or “Christian” message.

I seem to recall Augustine wrestling with this in “City of God,” expressing some guilt for Christianity’s alignment with Constantinople/Rome but also some hope for its propagation beyond the limited sphere it occupied at that time.

I do believe that we can change society for the better. I do not believe these changes can or will come from a government, rather from people with broken hearts.

The Church of the Zoo

Today, during work, I was listening to a podcast of WNYC’s RadioLab talking about a ‘tortured zoo director’. It’s worth a listen, because towards the end he talks about how difficult it would be to change the way zoos are built and run, because everyone who works at a zoo grew up with them a certain way, and wouldn’t want them to ever be different.

My mind started drifting to the difficulties in changing the church, because everyone who works for them, grew up liking them the way they were…

Give it a listen, and tell me where your mind drifts.

You’ve heard of the tortured artist. The tortured poet. Did you ever think about the tortured zoo director? It’s tough work being the steward of animals while at the same time being their captor. David Hancocks, a former zoo director, tells us about the paradoxes he encounters in the zoo world and his dream for a future zoo.

[ via WNYC – Radiolab: Zoo Keeper’s Dilemma (January 15, 2008) ]