This MSN article c. the Y generation and debt caught my attention.
"20- and 30-somethings are in a financial mess. Is it because we're dumb, arrogant or simply uneducated? . . . The ray of hope is that government and business authorities are starting to take financial illiteracy seriously." It's great if someone takes financial literacy seriously but I'm thinking that, for better or worse, financial education happens at home and at school. We teach kids what we know. We teach them by example. Apparently, we aren't doing a very good job. Instead of having limited resources and having to make choices, we think we can have it all without having to chose. So we never learn to choose.
First we may need to ask "What have we done, either actively or by default, to create such a debt-bound, consumer driven generation?" Then we can respond with a plan for re-education. But the two go together.
Do we need to consider more or different stewardship training in our faith communities - not just tithing and giving but faithful use of resources? You can pick your scriptures to make a point or search and read the scriptures to see what they say. Both Old and New Testaments are full of stories about rich and poor. Proverbs are full of ... proverbs! Jesus had a lot to say about wealth and money and stewardship. But according to my Bible Gateway search there are only 3 passages about the tithe in the Gospels (KJV) An often overlooked question when we search the scriptures - what isn't there? The things that aren't clear, that aren't black and white are just as important to take note of.
When my kids were small and exercising their independent spirits, I remember my husband saying, "Give the kids two choices either of which are ok and let them choose." We won't always be making choices for them. They have to learn to choose. When we live with limited resources we're forced to choose. When we have unlimited resources, thinking we can have it all, we don't have to choose so we don't practice making choices.
Allowing children to choose and live with the consequences grows strong choosing muscles. Every time they make a choice they learn something about wise choices and their confidence grows. Choices have consequences. Some are good. Some are not. Real consequences even for a young child will help prepare him/her for bigger choices and bigger consequences as they get older. And yes, sometimes life happens despite our choices. Sometimes life events have nothing to do with our choices. And yes, sometimes God intervenes not unlike parents. But He doesn't always intervene.
Do you think our culture makes choices less consequential and less immediate than other cultures at other times?
Sidebar: There was a Mennonite cookbook years back that I like: More with Less and another book about lifestyle Living More With Less.