I’ve been reading The Way We’ll Be by John Zogby, the famous pollster. I really recommend it because it uses very hard data to show that the general direction of the country is headed our way. Zogby totally refutes the conventional wisdom about the U.S.–that we’re super patriots intent on dominating the world and inclined towards material pleasure. He sees four “meta-movements” occurring simultaneously: living with limits as consumers and citizens; embracing diversity of views and ways of life; looking inward to find spiritual comfort; and demanding authenticity from the media and our leaders.
One of the most fascinating findings is his identification of a cohort of liberals he calls “Secular Spiritualists”.
Their personal relationship to God or any particular faith or creed, or their lack of same, might be a key issue in their own lives, but it’s not a salient issue in defining their relationship one to the other. Rather, what pulls them together and gives them definition is the need to move beyond professional and financial ambition, the acquisition of things, and the quest for a luxurious lifestyle.
It’s a rather large cohort who are saying, “I just want a simpler life.” I have heard those sentiments reflected on these pages many times, but the cool thing about Zogby’s book is that it proves beyond a doubt that we are not alone in that sentiment.