Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

Growing Childlessness in United States August 22, 2008

Filed under: Youth — Sam George @ 4:28 am
Tags: , , , , ,

More and more women in United States are going without kids. Kids are seen as requiring big sacrifice and being inconvenient, hence undesirable. According to US Census Bureau one in five U.S. women in their early 40s has no children.That’s double the level from 30 years ago and a record high. See report in NY Time, Guardian UK, Washington Post etc.

Some of the reason for this trend may be careerism, media portrayl of women, modern medical technology (extending biological clock) etc. Educated and well to do in socio-economic ladder tend to have lesser or no children at all. There are several competing alternatives to our time in our 20s and 30s, which are more lucrative and held in better esteem than making babies.

Women are getting married late and are waiting longer to have children, and more women than ever are choosing not to have children at all. In many cases, after building successful careers or achieving desirable wealth, when they think they are ready for baby, they are not able to concieve.

Child rearing has also become burdensome. Our culture is becoming anti-babies. There is less support from extended families, community, churches and culture. Cost of childcare, baby products and schooling is increasingly becoming unaffordable for many Americans.

This is not a women’s problem, but both men and women are responsible for this growing trend. This does not mean adult men and women are abstaining from sex altogether. Sexual appetite has not declined at all in America. In the increasingly promiscous culture of West where everyone has adequate information about conception early on and easy access to devices to prevent conception, people are saying YES to sex, but No to babies!

A societal shift in value toward anti-life message is obvious. Choosing not to have babies or aborting them when concieved and lack of social and governmental support for family is leading this nation toward self destruction. The demographical shift may force US to keep is immigration doors open in order to staff its economic structures and global clout.

Our individual choices do have a global and local term consquences!

 

London Visit…reading The Shack August 16, 2008

Filed under: Youth — Sam George @ 6:43 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I had a great time in UK… though it was short and really busy trip. I was speaking at a youth and family conference. It was great catching up with friends and making new ones. Many of the second generation issues are similar. Western culture has made profound cultural impact on the Indian second generation growing up in Europe. Yet, those kids are so different from kids growing up in North America. More on that later.

One of the highlight of the trip was that I got to read a new novel during the eight hour flight from Chicago to London and back. The preceeding week, Dr. T.V. Thomas (my mentor, the one who wrote foreword and guideded the research on the Coconut Generation) was in town and he gave me a new book called The Shack.

After a long time, I got to read an engaging and stimulating fiction. It is about seeing a human tragedy from an Eternal perspective. Author balances creative imagination with Christian theology. By avoiding simplistic consolation or reductionistic theological argument, author narrates a theological response to a seeminly catastrophic family incident.

But it is not without its share of problems. Controversy abounds in many circles. Trinity is never an easy subject to deal with and explain. Putting flesh and blood on God is problematic. Not to mention race  and gender (God the father is presented as an African American woman) biases are stirring up trouble in several theological circles. Some have deeemed the portrayal as erroneous.

Yet I found it as fascinating and soulful. Often stretching my imagination how Christian God looks at mundane earthly matters very differently. At times conversations are less dramatic and somewhat boring. It does not contain the drama and excitement of some of the modern fiction. May be we are used television and movie scripts more these days.

I am also amazed at the success of such narrative in main stream culture. It is among the national best seller lists. Now a movie is being made.  Western secularism devoid of spiritual insights are hungry for deeper and fresh reflections on theological themes.

Check out more about the book – www. theshackbook.com  Read a detailed review here. Enjoy reading it for yourself, but keep your thinking cap on!