Lifestyle changes everywhere

In February, my column outlined the “top 10 trends” identified by the Trends Research Institute in Rhinebeck, N.Y. They examine more than 300 social, economic, philosophical, and political topics all the time.
The following areas show the biggest recent changes in social, economic, and political structures:
•The Energy Revolution
•New Millennium Religion
•New Millennium Family
•Whole Health Planning
•WWWMD-1 (World War of Weapons of Mass Destruction)
•Renaissance 2000
•Virtual Education
•Cold War II
•The New Politics
•The Home
I earlier wrote about the first, seventh, and eighth of them. Here are a few more to think about and compare to your own experience:
•New millennium religion
A newly-emerging religion is melding elements from Eastern thought, the mystical and traditional faiths of the West, and native and aboriginal beliefs.
The quest is for spirituality, peace, and salvation, not for the sociopolitical and moral proscriptions that are part of organized religions now.
The major traditional faiths, and the political interests that support them, will fight to control their flocks. There will be battles, even wars, for the minds, souls, pocketbooks, and allegiance of believers.
The new religious expression will form new institutions and help direct the course of history.
•New millennium family
The new family model already is present and common. It is any collective body of persons living in one abode.
No one family structure will be considered ideal. Society will accept, business will provide for, and government eventually will respond to a broad menu of communal arrangements; hetero, homo, single, extended, serial, shifting guardianship, three and four generations…
By 2050, the decline of the traditional family no longer will be seen as a breakdown in values or as moral decline. Instead, it will be considered evolution in the social fabric.
Politicians and traditional religions will be the last to accept this. Businesses that adjust readily to the variety of family patterns will do well.
•The home
Working at or from home is an old concept that went out with the industrial revolution. The Internet, computer power, and broadband speeds is reviving it strongly.
All sorts of household robots, virtual reality home entertainment, and architectural innovations will bring ease and luxury to the well-off.
New technology will provide three-dimensional holography for telecommuters to interact. Both corporate employees and techno-smart micro-business owners will work at home part or full time.
That, and a wide variety of family arrangements, will make “home” a very different psychological space. Many households will include icons and images, music, and ambiance for meditation sanctuaries.
New opportunities will arise for door-to-door sales and deliveries of all kinds. Community spirit will be re-kindled since the neighbourhood is more important when its people are there.
If you’d like detailed descriptions of the trends, contact The Trends Research Institute at 1-914-876-6700 or www.trendsrearch.com

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