2017-02-01

Wondervoyage: The Antidote to Affluenza


As a host of media pundits and cultural critics have noted over the past several years, many of today’s young adults suffer from a debilitating illness that can cause severe apathy, lethargy, and short-sightedness, along with a profound feeling that the entire world is actually orbiting around them. What is this dread malady? Affluenza. This disease can afflict many who have grown up with access to quality education, convenience, and comfort, but have been relatively insulated from people of other viewpoints, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds.


Many seemingly promising treatments often make the condition worse. Reading or watching about other cultures can objectify “the other”, and reinforce the idea that the Affluenza sufferer is “normal” and others are “abnormal”. Sightseeing trips and vacations to other cultures can reinforce the idea that “they” exist for my pleasure and entertainment. Even service trips can reinforce the idea that “we” are better than “them”, and that “they” need “us” to fix all their problems for them with our knowledge and wealth.

But thankfully, experts have found a threefold treatment that offers promising results in mitigating and even reversing the effects of Affluenza. It consists in (a) eliciting a sense of awe and deep meaning while encountering experiences of beauty and wonder which are “outside of the norm”, combined with (b) authentic cultural engagement and conversation as young adults voyage “out of their bubble” to encounter other cultures, and enacted in (c) times of creative service and hard work in a mission to help local communities thrive and prosper.

These three elements— Wonder, Voyage, and Mission— when administered skillfully by extensively trained practitioners, can create a profoundly life changing experience, whereby a young Affluenza victim can be transformed into an empathetic and compassionate Global Citizen, who is motivated to use his or her talents and resources to help create a more creative and beautiful world, where all people and cultures flourish and thrive. Now, you may be asking yourself: Where could I find one of these “Wonder Voyage Mission” practitioners to help my young adults overcome Affluenza, and grow into all the fullness of who they can be?

Well, as an educator, priest, and chaplain with 25 years experience working with young adults, I can tell you there is no one I trust more than Wondervoyage Missions to help my students overcome Affluenza. Since 2001 I have gone on dozens of service trips led by Wondervoyage Directors, across the Country and across the Hemisphere. The transformation I spoke of above is not theoretical. I have seen it happen in the lives of dozens, even hundreds, of the students I have taken on Wondervoyage service trips. Wondervoyage Directors work incredibly well with both Church groups and School groups, with students of all ages, cultures, and religious backgrounds. If you want an experience that combines service with cultural engagement to transform your students, your program, and even your life, look no further than Wondervoyage Missions.
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This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.