Theme 2000: Social-cultural future
Conclusions of the International Christian Artists Symposium
August 19-24, 2000, SBI Doorn, Holland
- We are the people and we are the fabric of society. As individuals we come together in various groups and associations, in both work and leisure time, in unions and churches, as well as in families.
These activities give meaning to life. These groups pass on moral values to the next generation. Therefore it becomes of the utmost importance that
- Politics keep creating the prerequisite conditions so that the people can come together as they wish. Life is lived in harmony with other people. Our social cohesion depends on our freedom to come together. Politicians need to safeguard these essential elements. This includes limits to the 24 hour economy.
- The economy should not be used to enslave workers again, as it did 100 years ago. Under the new dictate it seems that employers can demand that workers can be called upon at anytime day and night and at weekends. With exception of the basic necessities (e.g. shiftwork in special factories and hospitals), we, the people, resist these demands of the economy. The quality of labour, the productivity and the work-ethos depend totally on how we, the people, feel and function in our role as employees. Our optimum performance-level comes out of a healthy balance between leisure-time, family-life, holidays, meetings within various groups, etc.
- We, the people, call upon the unions to secure fair pay and a reasonable balance between work and leisure. Unions should stand up globally for the well being of all people, because in a world-economy everyone is interdependent and should share the fruits of their labour. Where possible, and where needed, unions have to stand against issues such as child-labour, slavery conditions of work, dangerous work, and excessively low wages.
- We acknowledge the potentials of the internet. We count on international and governmental bodies to give facilities and training to youth, schools, etc. There are continents and areas in continents that need special investments, e.g.: Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, South America. Everyone should have access to technology. Besides access, we count on governmental bodies for good regulations & laws governing the internet. The means has to be created to ban racism, pornography, child-abuse. Copyright-laws must be installed to pro-tect the creativity of composers, dancers, musicians, singers, painters, actors, etc. Just `uploading' or 'downloading'-of the creativity of somebody else is a violation of that person's rights.
- In a growing 'global village' people draw closer to each other. Because of ancient and current conflicts we need to be aware that peace and prosperity is not automatic. Greater emphasis must be put, and time/energy need to be spent, on processes such as:
- peace processes
- true and meaningful communication
- love (for one's neighbours)
- mutual understanding
- The development of society increases rapidly. We need to reflect more how we want the future society to be. We, the people, through our associations, churches, unions, political parties, etc. have a common interest in:
- a society based on moral principles (not moralization)
- a society with shared values, e.g. trust, responsability, integrity
- life is not value-neutral, politics are not, economies are not. Again, all people share a common interest here. It's time to dialogue on these shared values.
- As the established societies are becoming bodies that are in an ongoing state of flux, where new skills need to be learned, such as:
- how to live in a situation of permanent change
- how to live in a knowledge-based society
- permanent education till you die, and how to combine that with work, family-life, etc.
- how to deal with stockmarkets (is it fun? is it gambling? is it really giving income?)
- how to be a part of politics again (because here the decisions are still made), to stop the public's desinterest
- to develop a true 'art of life' in the midst of 'chaos'. That art of life also needs moments of silence, inspiration and God. Technology (as is proved by history) is not 'the Saviour'. Technology has made life 'easier', but not always 'better'. We, the people, need to main-tain a critical attitude towards so called 'technical, consumer-orientated, improvements'.
- True life is a genuine life. Here we see a challenge for role-models in society, for artists and for believers. Genuine life exists within a real community, one that is based on true justice, a true spiritual dimension and the right living and working conditions.