Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

Unhealhty habits of teens May 27, 2008

Filed under: Youth — Sam George @ 10:01 pm
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Guess, what are some of underlying causes of unhealthy habits of teens… TV in their bedrooms! A new study published recently by the University of Minnesota School Public Health found that teenagers who have a television in their bedroom are more likely to have unhealthy lifestyles: from poor eating habits, to bad grades, to less time spent with the family. See a report in Science Daily.

We all know having television in kids bedrooms increases media consumption. Kids are more likley to watch shows in the privacy of their rooms what they would not watch in the living room with rest of the family. It also increases sedantry lifestyle, leading to obesity and other health hazards. What they watch also shape their behaviors and character. They become early adopters of fashion, music, food and other cultural products as a result. They consume what is trendy, not necessarily what is healthy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents remove television sets from their children’s bedrooms. Inspite of such warning the stud found two-thirds of teens having television in their bedrooms. Another increasing trend is having laptop with wireless connections of their own. Often parents get such advanced technology to aid their school work, but inceasingly being used for anything but school work.

Dangerous trend indeed that has repercussion on youth ministry. Watch out youtworkers!


Gay Marriage ban overturned in California May 21, 2008

Filed under: Youth — Sam George @ 5:44 pm

This can happen only in America. A court ruling against its own people. It overturned the refrendum of the people and representative of the people of the state for a ban on gay marriage. This precisely why American style democracy, inspite of best of effort in recent years, is unattractive in other parts of the world. If democracy leads to moral bankcruptcy, people are less drawn to it.

The court argument is convoluted too! They called it natural right. Are they basing it on the statement in Declaration of Independance – “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men were created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” This is not comparable to human right or civil right. Neither it is akin to ban on interracial marriage.

We must recognize the vital role of the family in building a healthy society and nation. Family is the most fundamental block of the society. When the basic unit gets weak or distorted, so will the nation soon be. There are enough lesson to learn in history from other leading civilizations. The heterosexual family needed to be protected and defended in the law, because it provided crucial benefits for the well-being of family, society and nation.

This high handedness of the court is self destructive for the society in the long run. People get disillusioned if their votes matter at all. A small group of people will continue to exert their influence on the entire country. Social instability will begins to reflect on social tension and economic outputs. 


Anti-Dowry Laws May 13, 2008

Filed under: Family,India,Leadership,Youth — Sam George @ 3:20 pm
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The Indian government is working on an amendment to dowry laws.

Dowry is an age old social evil in India. Everyday dowry related abuse and deaths go unnoticed in India. Battered women, domestic abuse and violence continues across all socio-economic sections of Indian society. A practise that prevails even in educated, well to do communities including Christians. Gender inequality and expolitative socio-economic forces lies at the heart of this evil practise.

Will a new set of law help reclaim diginity of women in India? Legislation banning dowry was passed in 1961 but is still flouted. According to police records, a woman is killed every 77 minutes due to dowry-related issues.  According to a study by the United Nations Population Fund, 60 per cent of married women are victims of physical torture or forced sex by their husbands.

So what we need to law enforcement and more accurately a change in mindset in the Indian society. We got to change how woman are viewed in the society, eliminate social stigma and empower women. We need a new worldview on genders.

But the popular feminist approach to dealing with this issues undermines and distorts our understanding of masculinity. I think that might do more harm than good in the long run. We need to develop a healthy and balanced view on genders.


Cost of Family Breakdown May 3, 2008

Filed under: Youth — Sam George @ 3:27 am
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Finally numbers are out. First of its kind assessment how much does it cost the goverment (hence the taxpayers) as a result of family disintegration, particularly divorce and out of wedlock childbirth. A whopping $112 Billion a year!

A very sobering reminder how family fragmentation is so expensive to everyone. The study was done by the Institute for American Values, a Washington DC based family organization and along with few other family agencies. See the reports here.

Between 1970 and 2005, the percentage of children being raised in two-parent families dropped from 85 to 68 percent. Divorce and alternative marriages continue to plague the Western society. Anti-family agenda is undermining communities and nations. Weakening in the most basic unit of the society has far-reaching implications.

This cost arise from increased taxpayer expenditures for antipoverty, criminal justice, and education programs, and through lower levels of taxes paid by individuals who, as adults, earn less because of reduced opportunities as a result of having been more likely to grow up in poverty.

Whatever be the cost figures, it proves there are family fragmentation has communal and national implications. When people pursue their own happiness, even at the expense of their mate and children, rest of the society pays a dear price. So they and their elected officials must come in the aid of keep it from fragmenting in the first place.
The policymakers, state legislators, and federal agencies must take keen interest in marriage and family issues. Stable marriage helps everyone. We all must resolve to committed to marriage strengthening initiatives at community level and supportive of government programs as well. Faith groups have crucial role to play, not just in conducting wedding but to help them stay married!