The vows a couple composes for their wedding are not all that unique to them and their story, just as the daring political jab inserted into my last sermon was not without ample homiletical precedent and the final scene of The Leftovers series finale was not completely unlike anything seen on television before.
Everything is conventional, thankfully. The strident atheist is as conventional as the most devoted fundamentalist. The bandana-faced protester follows convention just as easily as does the flag-waving patriot. All of us express our convictions and seek to make our mark through the conventions of the communities we yearn to belong to.
That’s a good thing. Conventions are a kind of constraint–the protest chant should rhyme; you should stand for the anthem–, and without constraints no real creativity is possible. Altering a convention makes an impact. Proceeding as if there are no conventions does not.
Owning the conventions we’re choosing is the better way to make a mark. That way, when we feel the need to make a change and to shed a convention that used to fit but doesn’t anymore, we’re not stepping out into nothing, just to a different convention.
200 words is my blog post convention.