Century Marks

Century Marks

Keeping the faith

Parents are the largest factor in whether youth remain religiously active as young adults, according to the National Study of Youth and Religion. When parents talked about faith at home, were active in their congregations, and attached great significance to their faith, 82 percent of their children were highly religious in their mid to late twenties. Two-thirds of young adults raised by black Protestant parents and one half of those with conservative Protestant parents had high or moderate levels of religious commitment as young adults. Seventy percent of young adults raised by mainline Protestants showed minimal or lower levels of religious commitment (Huffington Post, October 29).

Attention deficit

Our culture has an attention deficit disorder. Mark Ed­mun­dson, a University of Virginia professor, says that we’re losing the ability to be­come absorbed, to lose ourselves in something we love doing. “When that happens, time stops and one lives in an ongoing present.” Absorption in something like the arts can benefit others as well as oneself, while paying attention on the job or in school seems like a task that leads quickly to boredom (Hedge­hog Review, Summer).

Who cares?

In 30 years there will be as many people over 80 as under five, but there likely won’t be enough medical personnel to care for them. Medical students aren’t choosing geriatric care because the work is too hard and the pay too low. Some medical students shy away from geriatrics because they don’t like to face death, says one med school professor. “They’d rather take an anatomy exam for the eighth time than face a dying person,” he said (Vox, October 30).

Calm commuting

An increasing number of people are practicing meditation techniques while commuting to work. They focus on their breathing or on sights, sounds, and physical sensations to help keep them in the present. Denise Keyes takes the train to her job at Georgetown University. She says meditating prepares her for work. “I want to be compassionate and really listen to people. This helps me do that” (Washington Post, October 19).

Give them hope

The Soufan Group, a security intelligence firm in New York, has issued a report that concludes that ISIS doesn’t pose much of a threat to the United States and that the United States can’t do much about the threat ISIS poses. Putting boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria would unite the various rebel groups against the United States. Yet ISIS is unprecedented in the modern age: it’s capable of functioning as either a terrorist group or a nation-state, depending on which best serves its purpose (The Christian Science Monitor, October 30).