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will determine the shape of the
determine the shape of the future? Technology,
wealth, fear, power, population growth, media,
government, global warming? There are probably
four main scenarios. They all result in a
future very different than the present.
scenario is more of the same, but even that
will yield very different results! More
people, who are better educated, will produce
more wealth. They will have more leisure time
and consume more. People will continue to move
from "I work just to survive” – to "I live to
is a have-and-have-not world, but having won't
be primarily about money. The have-not
population will be the victims of the
breakdown of family and character. Already
there is a growing population that doesn't
have the intellectual, relational or moral
skills to hold a steady job.
The third is
the big accident: nuclear war, global
ecological disaster, an unstoppable epidemic
that decimates the population …or maybe even
aliens. Survival will be the key concern.
is the continued, rapid advance of technology,
especially in genetics and bio-engineering. We
might see a Matrix-like world where gaining
knowledge requires no effort. It is directly
downloaded to your brain. How much should we
form the mind, body, will and emotions (either
chemically or genetically) and who will
possibly, but that is unlikely. They might
have the power to prevent this from happening
to their own children, but possibly at the
cost of their children being left behind
intellectually, physically or even morally.
Expect business to be in it for the money.
Expect media to want to control the eye and
mind. Expect schools to believe they, not
parents, are responsible for children.
Governments will want to determine what
happens to its citizens. The church won't have
much say if it remains weak, confused and
divided. In any case, a lot more power will be
in the hands of fewer people.
with fear is exactly the wrong response.
Responding with faith, hope and love is the
right response. Faith, because God knows what
he is doing; everything is ultimately under
his mighty hand. Hope, because it helps us
respond joyfully in all circumstances. Love,
because it guides us in doing the right thing
toward God and others.
called, like Queen Esther was, for such a time
(kairos) as this (Esther 4:14).
We can expect God's help to do the right thing
at the right time, and that is what makes all
the difference. It may be that the future of
youth culture will be up to us.
article is adapted from a talk given by
Michael Shaughnessy to Kairos International
Leaders in May 2008. It was first published in
Youth Culture Newsletter.]
Shaughnessy is a life-long member of The
Servants of the Word and a regional
missionary coordinator of the Sword of
the Spirit in North America.
He is a prolific writer,
teacher, and editor for the Kairos Youth
Launched in December of 2007, the Kairos Youth
Culture Newsletter (KYCN) is a monthly
publication produced by Mike Shaughnessy for
Kairos International. The KYCN aims to update
parents and youth workers on some of the main
people and trends affecting youth. It also
seeks to teach about youth and youth culture:
its past, current ramifications, and possible
future. Visit their Google Group to subscribe
or see past newsletters at https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/kycn-subscribers.
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