Monday, June 11, 2012

Mental Fitness Challenge - Day 42

Plugging along and I couldn't be more impressed with The Beautiful Mrs. Jasper! I am so proud of the way she continues to push herself to read, get the CDs in, and grow in her mental fitness. She is my inspiration!

During some reading yesterday I came across some interesting statistics that back up what LIFE founders Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady have been saying about our "high-tech, low-touch" society. While I do not agree with everything he promotes, author Mark Driscoll, in his book, the RADICAL reformission provides the following to better illustrate the point that our culture is moving farther and farther away from personal, face-to-face relationships and that we, as a society, are suffering for it.

He writes, "The decline in our nation's social capital inevitably reduces all life to a transaction-based culture in which the only way you can get anyone to help you is to pay them. So if you are lonely and want someone to speak to, you may have to pay a counselor. If you can't pick up your dry cleaning, you may have to hire a personal assistant. If you want to work out with someone, you may have to hire a personal trainer. And if your car breaks down, you may have to call a cab-rather than a neighbor-to pick you up.

Many people are lonely and lack the community gathering points in which they can make meaningful human contacts. The following statistics demonstrate this altering of our relational landscape in the past twenty-five years.

  • Playing cards as a social activity is down 25 percent.
  • The number of full-service restaurants has decreased 25 percent, and the number of bars (including coffee bars) and luncheonettes has decreased 50 percent, but the number of fast-food outlets has increased 100 percent, as more people eat alone and eat more meals in their cars.
  • Having a social evening with someone from one's neighborhood is down 33 percent.
  • Attending social clubs and meetings is down 58 percent. 
  • Family dinners are down 33 percent.
  • Having friends over to one's home is down 45 percent.
  • From 1980 to 1993, participation in America's number-one participation sport, bowling, was up 10 percent, but the number of bowling leagues decreased 40 percent, as more people bowled alone.
  • From 1985 to 1999, the readiness of the average American to make new friends declined by nearly 33 percent.
People are increasingly busy, isolated, lonely, disconnected, and without any helpful solutions to the culture. The isolation is now so entrenched that many people don't know how to practice hospitality. This trend is even reflected in new architecture, which replaces large dining and living rooms designed for human contact with walk-in closets, home offices, and personal entertainment rooms. Here lonely people can watch sitcoms about friendships and reality-based shows in which characters pretend to interact with human beings, a thing apparently fascinating and foreign to many lonely, isolated individuals."

What a sad state of  affairs when we are designing our lifestyles to actually push people out and push ourselves into solitude! We were created to be social creatures and anything that drives us to be otherwise cannot be healthy. 

This is one major reason that I thank God that we were introduced to LIFE! I have met some of my best friends in this business, and I look forward to meeting many more!

God Bless,
Jason Jasper

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