by Sigmund Fraud, Activist Post:
The term ‘arrested development’ comes to mind when pondering the all too often ludicrous behavior of modern adults. It is used to describe people who are stuck in a childlike level of psychological development, unable to grow beyond the behaviors, attitudes and dependencies that mark the pre-adulthood stage of life. Something is holding them back, or something is preventing them from moving forward.
The esteemed author and scholar of mythology, Joseph Campbell, reminds us that in cultures from around the world, the journey from adolescence to adulthood is a big deal, historically marked with ceremony and rites of passage. In this, a young person must confront their greatest fears, overcome them, then integrate themselves into the world as a newly established co-creator, abandoning the roles of dependent and victim.
The boys are brought up to be in fear of the masks that the men wear in their rituals. These are the gods. These are the personification of the power and the structure of society. The boy, when he gets to be more than his mother can handle, the men come in with their masks, and they grab the kid, and he thinks he’s been taken by the Gods.
The mask represents the power that is shaping the society and that has shaped our world, and now you are a representative of that power. – Joseph Campbell
But there is nothing to speak of in contemporary life that serves this purpose, and it is quite evident when observing the behavior of many modern adults that people just don’t seem to have grown up beyond adolescence. What passes for adult behavior these days is all to often comical, embarrassing, even frightening. Like a theatre of the absurd, bubbling just below the surface in America is a collective temper tantrum. It could be generational, but one must account for the effect that each generation has on the development of the next to come.
Avoidance of responsibility has become en vogue, and there is now an actual thing called ‘adulting.’ Essentially it is a cultural meme where grown people complain about having to deal with the day-to-day responsibilities of life after childhood.
And so this jokey way of describing one’s engagement in adult behaviors—whether that is doing your own taxes, buying your first lawn mower, staying in on a Friday, being someone’s boss or getting super pumped about home appliances—can help those millennials acknowledge and/or make fun of and/or come to grips with that transition (or how late they are to it).
This is, after all, a transition their friends may not be going through yet or one that might seem to herald that certain end to their fading youth. To say you are “adulting” is to, on some level, create distance between you and what are implied to be actual adults who are adulting 100% of the time and therefore have little reason to acknowledge it. Or if they do, they might instead use phrases like “going about my normal day.” [Source]
Basic life skills such as changing a tire, boiling an egg, or cooking a meal, are being forgotten, somehow lost in a consumer’s paradise of instant gratification among infinite options. Adulting celebrates the idea that handling life’s basic responsibilities is praiseworthy, which is a tremendous lowering of standards, a dumbing down of our potential.
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