According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals
and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How the "Great Recession of 2008-2010" Has Affected Today's Youth

Associated Press
Study: Youth attitudes shift in Great Recession
 
MARTHA IRVINE
Published: Jul 11, 2013
 
Drew Miller, poses for a photograph, at a building under construction, Wednesday, July 10, 2013 in Silver Spring, Md. Miller quit a steady government contract job to take a chance on a company that's using "smart technologies" to help big corporations cut lighting costs. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

                

CHICAGO (AP) - Drew Miller clearly remembers the day his father was laid off.

Miller, now 25, was a freshman at an Ohio college, full of hope and ready to take on the world. But here was this "red flag ... a big wake-up call," he says. The prosperous years of childhood were over, and his future was likely to be bumpier than he'd expected.

Across the country, others of Miller's generation heard that same wake-up call as the Great Recession set in. But would it change them? And would the impact last?

The full effect won't be known for a while, of course. But a new analysis of a long-term survey of high school students provides an early glimpse at ways their attitudes shifted in the first years of this most recent economic downturn.

Among the findings: Young people showed signs of being more interested in conserving resources and a bit more concerned about their fellow human beings.

Compared with youths who were surveyed a few years before the recession hit, more of the Great Recession group also was less interested in big-ticket items such as vacation homes and new cars - though they still placed more importance on them than young people who were surveyed in the latter half of the 1970s, an era with its own economic challenges.

Either way, it appears this latest recession "has caused a lot of young people to stop in their tracks and think about what's important in life," says Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University who co-authored the study with researchers from UCLA.

The analysis, released Thursday, is published in the online edition of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Its data comes from "Monitoring the Future," an annual survey of young people that began in the mid-1970s. The authors of the study compared responses of high school seniors from three time periods - 1976-1978 and 2004-2006, as well as 2008-2010, the first years of the Great Recession.

They found that at the beginning of this latest recession, more of the 12th-graders were willing to use a bicycle or mass transit instead of driving - 36 percent in 2008-2010, compared with 28 percent in the mid-2000s. However, that was still markedly lower than the 49 percent of respondents in the 1970s group who said the same.

There were similar patterns for other responses, such as those who said they:

-Make an effort to turn heat down to save energy: 78 percent (1976-1978); 55 percent (2004-2006); and 63 percent (2008-2010).

-Want a job directly helpful to others: 50 percent (1976-1978); 44 percent (2004-2006); and 47 percent (2008-2010).

-Would eat differently to help the starving: 70 percent (1976-1978); 58 percent (2004-2006); and 61 percent (2008-2010).

Psychologist Patricia Greenfield said the findings fit with other research she's done that shows that people become more community-minded, and less materialistic, when faced with economic hardship. "To me, it's a silver lining," says Greenfield, another of the study's contributors, along with lead author Heejung Park, an advanced doctoral student in psychology at UCLA.

Their analysis found that, of the three groups, the Great Recession group was still most likely to want jobs where they could make a "significant" amount of money. But the authors say that may simply be attributable to the ever-rising cost of day-to-day expenses, from groceries to electric and gas bills.

In comparison, they note that the Great Recession group also showed a bit less interest in luxury items than the students who were surveyed in the mid-2000s.

For instance, 41 percent of high school seniors questioned 2008-2010 said it was important to own a vacation home, compared with 46 percent in 2004-2006. Again, both percentages are higher than the 34 percent who said the same in 1976-1978.

These findings have a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1 percentage point, or less.

Tina Wells, CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, which tracks youth trends, says the analysis fits with what she's seen in her own work.

Many young people, she says, are living in what she calls "millennial purgatory," unemployed or under-employed, working in jobs below their qualifications, and sometimes still living at home with their parents. During the Great Recession the unemployment rate for 15- to 24-year-olds has risen above 20 percent - more than double the overall rate.

"If you're 22 and trying to jump-start your life right now, it's not so easy," Wells says.

As a result, various 20-somethings have tempered their career expectations in different ways.

Until the economy improves, "I've been opting for security over the perfect job," says Calvin Wagner, a 24-year-old accountant in suburban Cincinnati. As he bides his time, working for a small company with little chance for advancement, he's studying for the exam to become a certified public accountant.

Like many of the survey respondents, Ashley Rousseau, a 25-year-old in Miami, says she's now more focused on a job that helps her community in some way than in landing "a corner office."

"The recession made it even more clear that I'm not going to find job satisfaction from a high-paying career," says Rousseau, who's getting her MBA and works at the medical school at Florida International University, which she says "improves the medical care in the community."

"I'm proud to be part of that mission," she says.

Miller, the 25-year-old whose dad was laid off, left Ohio when he couldn't find work there in his field, electrical engineering. He moved to Alexandria, Va., after finding a government contracting job. But he recently decided to take a chance on a new company that's using "smart technology" to help big corporations cut electrical usage for lighting their spaces.

Though it meant taking a small pay cut, he says having a job that helps the environment was a "huge" motivator.

It remains to be seen, however, how members of this generation will cope with this economic adversity.

Brent Donnellan, an associate professor of psychology at Michigan State University, has found that how parents handle the stress of an economic situation affects a child's resilience. But so does the child's personality. Perhaps not surprisingly, Donnellan says, studies have found that young people who have more self-control and who do well in school tend to weather economic hardship better.

Still others wonder if the shifts in attitudes noted in the study will last.

Lane Kenworthy, who's looked at the impact of various recessions, isn't so sure.

"In almost every case, public opinion has roughly gone back right back to what it was before," says Kenworthy, a professor of sociology and political science at the University of Arizona, who co-wrote a chapter on this topic for a book titled "The Great Recession."

The biggest exception, he says, is the Great Depression of the 1930s, when unemployment rose as high as 25 percent.

That major economic downturn saw a big shift toward the Democratic party, he says, and an embracing of government programs such as Social Security.

The downturn of the 1970s - which caused public opinion to sway Republican - was the only other noteworthy exception he found, he says.

Kenworthy says this recession might impact young people more because they tend to be more impressionable than their elders. But he says a lot will hinge on how long the economic downturn lasts - and how deeply they feel the pain.

Miller, in Virginia, says he still sees a lot of his peers living beyond their means and that worries him.
"I hope that mentality will change to say, 'Hey, we have to plan ahead' because this could happen again," he says.

But Monica Raofpur, a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, doubts the Great Recession will forever change her generation.

"People usually adapt to their surroundings and make decisions based on what is going on in the present, not in the past," says Raofpur, a sales consultant in the tech industry.

The UCLA/San Diego State study was funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, which focuses social issues and has funded several projects related to the Great Recession.

__

On the Internet:
Russell Sage Foundation: http://www.russellsage.org
___

Martha Irvine is an AP national writer. She can be reached at mirvine@ap.org or at http://twitter.com/irvineap.


 

Kids React to Controversial Cheerios Commercial


 
The Best Thing You'll See All Day:
Kids React To Interracial Cheerios Commercial (VIDEO)
 
Posted July 15, 2013 by Christina Coleman for Global Grind Staff
 
 
Remember that "controversial" (but not really) interracial Cheerios commercial that got all the racists in the world upset?
 
Well, some genius thought it would be a good idea to put the commercial to the real test to see if adults are bugging for no reason, or, if the subject of interracial marriage/dating is still very much taboo.
 
The findings from this very non-scientific but brilliant experiment? Racism is stupid.
 
See these insightful kids drop some real knowledge...and say the dardnest things. I bet you won't be able to keep a smile off of your face.
 
 
 
 
This episode featured the following amazing children:
 
Samirah, age 7
Dash, age 8
Morgan, age 8
Asher, age 9
Morgan A, age 10
Shannon, age 9
Dylan, age 11
Elle, age 11
Marlhy, age 11
Olivia, age 12
Darius, age 13
Jake, age 13
 
-----------------
 
KIDS REACT #82 - Controversial Cheerios Commercial
KIDS REACT to Just Checking
 
© 2013 Fine Brothers Properties
This format and title of this program is protected under Copyright and Trademark Law .



 
 
Cheerios Commercial Featuring Mixed Race Family Gets Racist Backlash (VIDEO)
 
The Huffington Post  |  By
Posted:   |  Updated: 06/15/2013 3:15 pm EDT
 
 
An adorable Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial couple and their daughter generated such a strong racist backlash on YouTube that the comments section had to be closed.
 
The ad had received more than 1,600 likes and more than 500 dislikes as of Thursday evening.
You can watch the full ad in the video above.

Prior to the closure, the comment section had been filled "with references to Nazis, 'troglodytes' and 'racial genocide,'" according to Adweek.

YouTube comment sections have a reputation for breeding racist flame wars. CNN focused on the issue earlier this year, after a panel addressing racism and race on YouTube was held at South By Southwest:
"Everyone gets hate comments on YouTube," said Andre Meadows, the creator of the Black Nerd Comedy channel. "You can make the most wonderful video in the world and you will get 'Fake!' and 'Gay!'" 
But for minority creators, "when you get comments, it seems to be targeted toward race almost immediately. A lot of people get 'dumb video, stupid video' -- but with mine it immediately goes to racial slurs."
Commenters on the cereal's Facebook page also said they found the commercial "disgusting" and that it made them "want to vomit." Other hateful commenters expressed shock that a black father would stay with his family.


However, many took to Facebook to express their appreciation for Cheerios' decision to feature a mixed-race family.

"Having been mixed in the '70s, I'd like to thank everyone at Cheerios for making a commercial with an interracial couple! Going to buy boxes today! Many thanks for reflecting what my family looked like," Beschelle Lockhart posted Monday.

"Just watched your commercial with the biracial family. Beautiful. Thank you so much," Alexandra Burt wrote.

Cheerios was unfazed by the racist Internet backlash. "Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all," Camille Gibson, Cheerios vice president of marketing, told Gawker.