How the HELL Do You Make an Impact in this Culture?

David W Litwin
8 min readNov 25, 2023


Image created by the author in Midjourney

“But it was you, it was me, it was every man. We’ve all got the blood on our hands. We only we receive what we demand. And if we want HELL, then hell is what we’ll have.”
Jack Johnson, Cookie Jar

The following lyric is a powerful insight into our culture and how to effectively address it. There are a lot of people now claiming this world is going to hell. Not the literal, religiously backed hell, but that the world is heading in the wrong and dangerous direction. We can argue this version of hell from all sorts of viewpoints and biases. Is it a moral hell, that needs a removal of “sin” and “sinners?” Is it a dogmatic, unenlightened hell, requiring the removal of the fundamental moralist or the Maga Extremists? Does the right, or the left have the best answers to get us out of this hell?

A myriad of people attempt to address this. They offer their ideas from inside their worldviews and political leanings. The problem is that there are often two responses to this line of discourse: Acceptance or Retraction.

Regardless of the assertions and groundings of one’s point; the biases create the audience.

Cultural headway becomes an illusion. People rarely sway, and it is nearly impossible to change the worldview of another. Yet we try. Over and over. Atheists decry the religious with well-reasoned arguments. Religious people attack through their morality and the vast cohesion of their texts. The left has the answers. Oh, and so does the right.

We are at an impasse culturally, politically, religiously… relationally. Hell is whatever any side claims it to be.

Thankfully, Jack Johnson, provides the solution. Yes, surf-loving singer-songwriter, that “Mellow-man” Jack Johnson, and it’s right there in the lyric above.

“If we want hell, then hell is what we’ll have.”

This unlocks the key and code to make a difference. I hope that you can catch this, too, and unlock new ways to create disruptive, nuanced, and empathetic stories that can and must sift through our worldviews to produce real transformative change.

Translation to Jack’s lyric: “If we want the pleasures of hell, then we will experience the hellish OUTCOMES that