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What Gallup Said (About Indians)

From a book review of The Next American Spirituality by George Gallup Jr. and Timothy Jones. By Larry B. Stammer, Times Religion Writer, in the LA Times, 2/26/00:

As for affluence and consumerism, people are beginning to realize, author Eugene Peterson wrote in "Subversive Spirituality," that "getting more and doing more only makes [our] sickness worse....We are surprised to find ourselves lonely behind the wheel of a BMW or bored nearly to death as we advance from one prestigious job to another."

Meanwhile, sex and violence permeate society. Moral standards are breached daily in large and small ways by "all sorts and conditions of men," as the 1928 Book of Common Prayer says.

Yet, in the face of this, spiritual quests continue, driven in part, Gallup says, by the vacuousness of secular promises of fulfillment. The percentage of Americans who say they feel the need to experience spiritual growth has risen sharply, up 24 points in just four years to 78%, Gallup reports.

Rob's comment
In other words, people are seeking traditional Native American values, though they don't realize it. Some do realize it. As Gallup notes in his book, people are exploring all sorts of alternative spiritual paths. New Agers are infamous for trying to get in touch with their nonexistent Indian sides.

But one doesn't need crystals and incense to realize what's real in life. One simply needs a little self-awareness and sense. And the understanding that the standard American dream of making it to the top doesn't hold all the answers.

Related links
America's (multi)cultural wars
America's (multi)cultural wars—economic
Hercules vs. Coyote:  Native and Euro-American beliefs

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