All You Need is Love

Young people “love themselves more today than ever before,” says University of Kentucky psychologist Nathan DeWall, and the proof is in their music.  His team combed though Billboards top 100 songs over the past thirty-six years and found a steady increase in self-centeredness and hostility toward others.

“In the early ’80’s lyrics, love was easy and positive and about two people” study co-author Jean Twenege tells The New York Times.  “The recent songs are about what the person wants, and how she or he has been disappointed or wronged.”

What’s interesting about this study is the steady shift in words.  “I” and “me” is showing up in more lyrics and “we” and “us” is showing up less.  The study also registered a jump in angry lyrics about hating or killing and less frequency for positive words like “love” or “sweet”.  The Archie’s “Sugar, Sugar” now sounds like a relic.  Barry Manilow, Bread, and Lionel Richie, where are you now?

Is narcissism now the air we breath?  And is that why so many more people feel sad and lonely than in previous decades, in spite of a gazillion Facebook friends?

What does this suggest for the church in the future?   What do you think?


About chris breuninger

I love life, my family, and Jesus. I enjoy live music, rigorous exercise, thoughtful movies, and strong coffee. I study scripture, wine, and people. I get frustrated with narrow minds, Christian stereotypes, and gardening. My vocation is pastor, but I’m hesitant to admit that, and I’m happy when people are surprised by that.
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One Response to All You Need is Love

  1. Joan says:

    As always, we need to focus on Jesus’ great commandments! Loving God with all our body mind and soul, and loving our neighbors as ourself is wise advice. As a church, we need to reach out to those around us instead of solely focusing inward. Yes, we all need to continue to grow personally, but if we don’t look beyond ourselves, our lives won’t bear the fruit that Christ wants to produce through us.

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