Youth: Search for Meaning Edward A. Dreyfus

ISBN: 9781456533250

Published: February 29th 1972

Paperback

180 pages


Description

Youth: Search for Meaning  by  Edward A. Dreyfus

Youth: Search for Meaning by Edward A. Dreyfus
February 29th 1972 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 180 pages | ISBN: 9781456533250 | 3.37 Mb

It has been 40 years since this book was written. So much has changed in two generations, yet much has remained the same. The vast majority of what I wrote in 1971 is as valid today as it was then. The times have changed, but the issues remain the same. The ideas presented in this volume are as relevant today as they were four decades ago. However, there is one significant difference between the youth culture of the 1970s and the youth culture today.

The youth of the 1970s was invested in social change. They were activists and many were considered radicals. There was the Peace Movement, the Womens Movement, the Gay Liberation Movement, and the Black Power Movement. These movements galvanized the youth of the day and gave them a sense of purpose- it gave their lives meaning. The youth of today have no galvanizing force around which to rally. Hence, todays youth must look within themselves for meaning and purpose. And they appear to be ill-equipped to do so. Students are concerned for their future and the future of the world.

How do they make sense of this world and their place in it? These issues are not significantly different from the world faced by the students forty years ago. The difference appears to be in how they deal with these social and political uncertainties. The youth of 40 years ago took to the streets- the youth of today withdraw into texting, Facebook buzz, and video games. Throughout the book I discuss the human struggle to live a meaningful life. Meaning is derived from the human connection and the commitment to making a difference in the world.

It cannot be found through making money, accumulating wealth or material possessions. It is in the realm of interpersonal relationships and intimacy that I see the greatest differences between the youth of the 1970s and the youth of today. I believe that technology has so permeated the youth culture that it has adversely affected the human connection.

Between internet dating services, Skype connections with strangers, social networking, text messaging, and interactive gaming, intimacy between human beings is being eroded. Youth today rarely engage one another except in sound-bites. Deep emotional sharing and commitment to social change has diminished.

The youth with whom I work today have little understanding of what it means to truly connect. Their sexuality is less about intimacy than it is about a detached activity. Pornography has become commonplace and used in lieu of human engagement. The youth of the 70s craved intimacy- the youth of today dont understand the meaning of the term.

Their relationships appear to be shallow. What they lack in substance they attempt to make for in quantity. It is not uncommon to see the number of friends on Facebook to be in the 100s if not 1000s. It is not uncommon to see groups of young people at the local mall texting their distant friends rather than talking with the friend standing next to them. I see many young people wanting to revert to a more structured and simpler time with traditional marriage being viewed as the answer.

Similarly, they seem to be migrating toward traditional careers. They seem to be trying to make certainty in an uncertain world. Alternatively, perhaps they have accepted that they will have more than one marriage and more than one career. Perhaps they have accepted that all things are temporary and that nothing is forever. In spite of all of the changes with which the youth of today have to deal, for many the meaning of life still eludes them. They continue to look outside of themselves for purpose and meaning rather than engage in the journey inward toward self-understanding. Nor do they seem to look for ways in which they can make a difference in the world.

Perhaps it because they have had it easy- there has been no call to action.



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