Rainn Wilson is better known for his character Dwight Schrute on the television comedy series “The Office.” Over the years, he has earned three Emmy nominations with his portrayal of Dwight Schrute, and with this popularity he has gotten the word out about a program him and his friend started in 2008, SoulPancake. SoulPancake is a space where people from all walks of life can discuss and question what it means to be human – a place to wrestle with the spiritual, philosophical and creative journey that is life.
Rainn grew up in Seattle with two parents who raised him in a Bohemian household. His parents believed in the Bahá’í Faith. This faith believes that there is one god and that god occasionally sends teachers to earth. These teachings have provided the basis for the advancement of civilization. These divine teachers visit every 500 years, some examples of teachers include Abraham, Buddha, and Moses. Growing up in this household allowed Rainn to learn at an early age the importance of equality. Growing up in this faith taught him to believe that everyone on this earth is part of one human family.
When Rainn turned 20, he decided to move to New York City and become an atheist. He decided to drop everything he previously believed in to immerse himself in art. After a couple years he decided pick up his Bahá’í Faith and also begin studying over cultures and religions. It is there where he truly immersed himself in art. He came to the realization that people are never satisfied, and that happiness is just a myth. Once you achieve “happiness,” whatever it maybe, you tend to redefine it. For example, you finally get that raise you wanted and are making $80,000 a year, but now you want $90,000. It’s even the same with material items such as cars and houses. We are never truly “happy” and this is why Rainn emphasized his dislike for the word. Instead he prefers words such as “joy” because it explains a moment in time.
This idea of redefining happiness gave him the idea for SoulPancake. Rainn wanted to take the idea of spirituality and create a space for self-expression. SoulPancake has many mediums for getting this message across from a website to social media platforms. One of their more popular platforms is YouTube. SoulPancake’s YouTube channels mission is to bring joy. One of the most successful examples is Kid President. This wise child brings on messages such as equality and self-acceptance in a fun and creative way. Some of Kid Presidents most influential messages are “Treat everybody like it’s their birthday” and “Create something that is awesome.”
As stated on the SoulPancake website, “Our brain batter of art, culture, science, philosophy, spirituality and humor is designed to open your mind, challenge your friends, and feel damn good.” SoulPancake is using things such as social media to spread a message. There are so many different forms of art and Rainn and his partner are doing an excellent job at spreading messages in a fun and creative way.