Evolving an ageless life event into the modern age
The frequent focus of this blog and others on the Millennial generation rather than others might seem lopsided – after all, in terms of age and experience many argue this is when “Generation X” is in its prime and most influential. But it is also true that as an age cohort Millennials are discovering and defining themselves in the midst of major social, economic and technological change. And what they are discovering is creating the future we will all share.
Now it turns out Millennials are redefining how to mourn, as well as how to live. According to the New York Times, Millennials are inventing ways to grieve and share with others using technology. “An Online Generation Redefines Mourning“, notes that some of the new ways to grieve reflect the flip side of Millennial culture (one blog site sends the bereaved a custom-made mix-tape (cassette) in exchange for a post about how the writer processed loss), while others are looking at death and grief in a direct way with an unflinching eye, “engaging in more-open and public discussions about mortality and loss.”
Flip, hip or direct, what is of note is that these new ways of processing through loss and grief are relevant because they work. The take-away is that the success of these innovative ways of dealing with a universal life experience also speaks to how faith and spiritual fulfillment is evolving. It also proposes a question: if grieving can be reinvented in the 21st century using 21st century technology to appeal to 21st century relationships, what about doing the same for spiritual fulfillment and faith?
Recognizing this, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is exploring new forms of faith and congregation through its initiative Congregations and Beyond, the 2014 General Assembly theme “Love Reaches Out” and leadership on issues of social, economic and environmental justice.