So why do I always resist the rather obvious point. The Sunstone crowd is greying, the Mormon history crowd is greying. . . . There is an easy answer, I suppose. I’m from the old Sunstone crowd. I’m greying. Maybe I don’t like facing the obvious. But I really don’t think that’s it exactly.
I just don’t agree that the problem is the greying. Or if it is, then “greying” can afflict the young as easily as it does the old, the blog crowd as easily as the typewriter one. I see the problem as something more like getting stuck, going round and round and round.
You’ve surely had this experience. You walk into a room, and the people there are in the middle of the same conversation they were having when you left the room minutes, days, months, years, even decades before. Some people get stuck on this round and round in their twenties, some are still eluding it in their nineties.
This getting stuck, this round and round, can afflict institutions as easily as it does individuals. An institution, like an individual, can circle round and round a formative experience, a painful moment, a triumph. And never move on.
I do understand there’s a down side to this reflexive concern of mine about getting stuck. Some things that were good 30 years ago are still good today. I too care about back bone, commitment, truth. . . . But when that moment of recognition comes—I’ve been here before, I’ll come around again, nothing will change—a warning bell goes off for me. I’ve come to trust that finding oneself on the round and round is a pretty reliable sign of danger.