The young and the generous

Some sociological studies suggest that today’s young adults are selfish, greedy and narcissistic. Marketers and advertisers use this stereotype; they understand the enormous persuasive power of transforming wants into needs and legitimizing the fulfilling of every want. They’ve done this before, with the Me Generation and slogans like “This Bud’s for You,” “Do Yourself a Favor Today” and the bumper sticker: “The One Who Dies with the Most Toys Wins.” The latter phrase provided a wealth of sermon fodder at stewardship time, and I used it generously.

But the young adults I know don’t fit this stereotype. My own children and their friends were anything but greedy and selfish as young adults. What I saw and continue to see among this generation are thoughtful people who are generous and committed to social justice.


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