4 Ways to Be Countercultural

Jason is in a tight spot. He’s concerned about business ethics and he wants to be more countercultural, but he can’t afford to lose his job.

As a young man with a young family, Jason is all about moving forward in his career. At the same time, he’s worried that his foundational values are at odds with the world he’s trying to impress.

He shared his concerns with his friend Mark over lunch. “I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot,” Jason said, “but I don’t feel right about some of the things I’m told to ‘expense.’ Plus it’s wrong to take a client out drinking when we both could be with our families. I’m not naïve, but sometimes I feel like a fish out of water.”

Mark smiled. “Don’t worry about that,” he said. “Be true to yourself, but it’s possible to stand out from the crowd quietly and respectfully. You really can be countercultural without wearing a sign.”

Here are five areas where “not following the crowd” is imperative for family guys and for their families. Finances, priorities, media, community spirit, and the Golden Rule.

Is our culture out of balance? Should you stir the pot? Discover how simply doing the right thing can make you a leader and a game-changer in your community. Read these 4 Ways to Be Countercultural:

1. Finances.

We live in a culture where entitlement, greed, and “I want this and I want it right now” too often call the shots. This thinking makes for poor decisions both at home and at work, while leaving the door open for unethical practices in both venues. Think differently, think ahead, and lead from a position of strength.

2. Priorities.

Understanding what our priorities are provides a clear template for other choices. If “family”, “faith”, and “others” stand ahead of “self”, profit”, and “popularity”, we can be free from cultural pressures.

3. Media.

If we allow what we watch, listen to, and access via television, the Internet, and other media to guide our behavior, then we are the opposite of countercultural. If we make decisions based on criterion such as faith, family values, and other internalized principles, we are likely to be countercultural.

4. The Golden Rule.

Today’s culture seems to suggest, “Do unto others before they stick it to you;” Living out the actual Golden Rule, however, still works well because—in addition to being the right thing to do—it builds community. We can be countercultural while simultaneously working toward healing the culture and making a powerful difference.

© 2014 All Pro Dad. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.

Sound Off

Sound Off: If you feel even a little out of step with the culture, your discomfort may be your best challenge. Think differently, and lead by example.

Derek Maul

Derek Maul is the author of five books, a nationally recognized men’s resource, a committed encourager, and a pilgrim in progress. He divides his time between writing and traveling to speak about the fully engaged life.

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Huddle up with your kids tonight and ask: “How is our family different from other families?” And, “What are some ways we need to be different?”


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