Work, Family, Time
For many potential emerging sages, family and work priorities translate into a lack of time and disinclination toward civic engagement at this stage of their lives:
Everyone will tell you that it’s about the time it takes. In my social circle both parents are working, and that makes a big difference. Dads are much more involved and expected to be partners in raising their children—certainly more than my parent’s generation. Parents are usually involved in their first community of interest, which is their children’s school. I think that when they become older, they branch out into other community service activities.
I believe a lot of them don’t get involved civically because it gets all consuming and takes away from their family, work commitments, and leisure time enjoyments. I would never want that to happen to me. As a young person, I realize my interests lie more with myself, my family, and my career than with the whole community. I think that an interest in things civic comes later in life.
There is a belief that just trying to hang on during these difficult economic times has produced tremendous emotional drain for many potential emerging sages:
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The thing that really makes me sad is that it is a difficult time for people economically and emotionally. People are so concerned with day-to-day needs that they don’t feel free enough to step into the public arena and make a contribution. If people’s basic needs were taken care of, there would be much more contributing to the greater community.
There is a lot of stress in the community right now because of the economy, so many young people feel the best thing they can be doing is taking care of themselves in any way that they can.