Many today in the Christian world might pause, think and consider the history and meaning behind the day; it’s Good Friday. As you know my blog avoids conversation outside of architecture, but on occasion I share about me, my faith and how that plays into my role and decisions as an architect. I don’t see how to disassociate them, but I remain dedicated to exploring how architects think. I want to talk about architecture.
We have seen much bad lately, much bad from the past has emerged as our small world has few places to hide. It’s unfortunate the poor decisions people make and how they wreck the lives of so many, for no good reason other than self. Architects have made poor decisions and the poor design and building decisions are no longer the only ones that have entered our conversations. I’m not sure how to talk about that, but I’m listening.
There’s endless noise in the cacophony of Twitter, Facebook, blogs (yes blogs) and scores of other ways we’ve found to reach the ends of the Earth with what we want others to hear. Lately, I’ve had to turn down the dial to hear and listen. I often try to picture living in different eras and what that may have been like a century or ten ago. Injustice would have remained in silence in the simple peasant villages throughout the land. Imagine no internet, no phones, no Starbucks, and not much literacy. I doubt anyone was fighting over style and good building choices were ones that kept out the rain and didn’t burn. Shelter was simple for most, but only the castles and cathedrals remain. I doubt anyone suggested adding glass block to Reims without losing their head. The marble on Il Duomo di Firenze is not simulated.
There was a man (I call him God) who gave His life on this day for whosoever would believe. What was unique is it was an act of pure altruism, unselfish and reckless by some standards. A place where the act and the motivation were equally good. Without what happened three days later, there would be no story, but…
I see acts of good among too many of pure evil. We need more good – random, selfless acts of good. We need more bravery and resolve to make good choices that help others, help communities and progress architecture for everyone. But what is the motivation? Does that matter? Are we hiding behind a bandwagon of good for remarkable reasons? Or do we just want a little credit or merely to discredit our foes? Does it matter that our acts and motivations are equally good as architects?
I believe motivation is equally as important as actions. But who is the “who” in the “who says” what is good? How do we decide that? We say this is good, this is right; we say this is bad, this is wrong. Who says? Think about that for a while. Just let that sink in.
My “who says” is the one who said is with his life. When you find me making the wrong choice, it’s not because of the who, it’s because of the me. Fortunately, there’s grace.
Have a truly Good Friday.