What is the difference between a Heineken beer and a Pepsi soda?
This Heineken ad captures the New Copernican aspiration: connection. The controversial Pepsi ad with Kendall Jenner simply commercializes the resist protest without any attempt at relational connection. It was an epic fail.
For New Copernicans relationships are not merely about friendship, rather they are the primary lens through which they see reality. For them connection takes priority over conviction. If reality is at its root relational, then this is a great improvement and keen insight.
Certainly we all live in a world where there is a great deal of diversity and difference. But in a world where static propositions and beliefs are the first step, this diversity inevitably leads to partisanship and many forms of protest and violence. But in a world where relationships are the first move and connection is the highest priority, genuine humanness has a chance of being revealed and love can potentially triumph over indifference and disregard. This is what the Heineken ad portrays.
When New Copernicans hang out, it is not doing nothing, but creating the environment where agenda-free relationships can take root. It is here where dreams are shared and stories told. Ironically, some social scientists have chided millennials for their low social capital, for their failure to join organizations, like the church or political parties. This is to misread them completely.
Relationships for them are more than just a social convention; they are a metaphysical statement about the nature of reality. For New Copernicans reality is essentially relational. Controversial New Age guru and booster of alternative medicine, Deepak Chopra asks, “Are our genes verbs or nouns? There are no nouns in the universe Everything is a relationship. Nouns are conventions of language. The universe is a verb, a process of ceaseless activity.” Neuroscientist Iain McGilchrist adds that music developed before language in human evolution.
If reality is essentially relational, then it opens the door to the possibility that love is at the root of all reality and that connection with a wider spiritual reality is an essential dynamic to humanness. Older adults may roll their eyes at young people “hanging out.” But isn’t this simply being with another person without an agenda, without a timetable, without a script in search for a deeper connection. New Copernicans demand better relationships.
The difference between a Pepsi soda and a Heineken beer is that one is the alleged cause of bridging an ideological divide and the other is the fruit of a human connection. It is a difference that is essentially New Copernican.