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AP/MTV poll reveals what makes kids happy

The Washington Post (as well as a slew of other outlets) ran a story on a recent Associated Press/MTV poll asking more than 100 questions of 1,280 kids in America (ages 13-24), about "what makes you happy?" The results? Here are some tidbits:
  • The top answer to the open-ended question was spending time with family.
  • "Nearly three-quarters of young people say their relationship with their parents makes them happy."
  • "Close to half say religion and spirituality are very important. And more than half say they believe there is a higher power that has an influence over things that make them happy. Beyond religion, simply belonging to an organized religious group makes people happier."
I find it a bit interesting, the wording in the last point: "beyond religion." I can't find a copy of the study's results that would fully explain that comment, but it seems to imply that belonging to a religious group doesn't necessarily imply embracing the religion (ie, the community is what's desired). As I've discussed before on this blog, there is a significant difference between embracing a religion and embracing a relationship with God, though the latter isn't mutually exclusive from the other. Jesus didn't come to bring us a new religion, but the gift of walking again with the Father. But, that doesn't take place in isolation; we're meant to walk with others as we walk with Jesus--hence, Jesus' affirmation in the Gospel of one man's insight into the commandments: Love God and love others. And the article's comment above seems to underscore how important community is to us. It's part of our nature--and it is part of living in the Kingdom, where we were designed to live.

For more about the survey, go here (or here).

(Image: Public Domain via Wikipedia)