We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Thursday, March 4. 2010
I see that George Will wrote a piece, The Basement Boys -The making of modern immaturity, which echoes the themes I mentioned in my post this week, Are men "naturally" monogamous?
Will wearily concludes:
Alas, Will makes the common error of associating years with psychological maturity and strength of character. I have known plenty of mature 18 year-olds - even 16 year-olds, and plenty of infantile 75 year-olds.
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Tiger is kind of an outlier --by and large his generation is more mature that its parental. And even Tiger is mature in his profession --what he's done takes a dedication anything but childish. He just has the celebrity glitch.
I used to complain to my therapist about those who frustrated me by saying they didn’t act like adults. She corrected me, IIRC, that adulthood is merely physical maturity. Awareness of the distinction is perhaps a marker of psychological maturity. :-)
“Infantile” seems to cut more closely to what I wanted to express. It almost necessarily is limited to behavior instead of stature. Most of those who frustrate me are probably more “adolescent” than infantile, but maybe that’s a physical measure, too.
I have known many adult men (women too)who continue to behave like 8 year olds. It is too bad , especially for me, I married one of them.
Sometimes Will makes sense, sometimes he just mails it in. This particular article has some issues. Playing electronic or other games at a sports bar is hardly an indication of perpetual, or even acute, immaturity. I'm not partial to that stuff myself but I certainly have engaged in it and know MANY other men who thoroughly enjoy such things and the vast majority of us would gladly stack our "mature males, husbands, and fathers" bonyfeets up against anyone of any generation.
And, really, WTF have Rolling Stones playing Satisfaction at the Super Bowl got to do with anything? Can't pin that choice on anyone other than whoever the heck made it. My wife enjoyed that performance far more than I did (well, truth be told, I'm not much of a Stones fan).
Dr. Bliss, I'm unfortunately wont
to catch typos perhaps writers don't;
your 'George Will' at the open
drops the 'r', leaves me hopin'
right you Will so confuse me it won't
I once heard expressed that 25 was the new 18.... (I left home at 18 for the U.S.N. and really never went back to live.) I hear from friends and colleagues about their "adult" children living at home until 25, 28, 30 years because its just too expensive to live out there. I'm sorry, I just have no sympathy. I lived in a "group' home sharing a place with two other guys for awhile, but that doesn't seem to be a solution for these kids that still need their mommies to do their laundry and cook for them. I made it abundantly clear to my boys that once the graduated high school they were expected to be on their own (and with some slack in the timing did so). I even had my wife tell me "Well, I'M not the one who kicked your son out!" I just said yep. Someone had to be the adult in the family. (and both my boys live on their own, in houses with mortgages, and decent paying jobs). I attribute that to the incentive I gave them to BE independent.
So I had very little empathy for my buddy here that had his 30yo unwed daughter with 12yo grandson still sponging off mom and dad. When he finally grew a pair and moved her into her own place, wonders of wonders, where she was always perpetually broke, now found that she had the cash to pay for her own place. Well, she doesn't buy as many clothes and gets her groceries at Pack-n-Save rather than Albertsons, but she is becoming independent.
So I don't buy that "mature later" B.S. I think parents have abdicated their RESPONSIBILITY to RAISE adults rather than coddling precious whenever he stubs his widdle toe. (I have seen it. Gags me every time.)
Sheesh! I'm beginning to sound like an old codger.......
In a discussion with a homeless/drug Counselor, she made the comment that rang true, in counseling it was important to discover the age at which they started taking drugs. This was their maturity level no matter their age. JP
I have no idea whence came the term "self-esteem" but from experience i can say that that term --by making the term "self-respect" disappear, has occluded a very large amount of clarity.
The 'experience' i mean is that sinking feeling you have after a failed moment of leadership: for example say you're having one of those talks with your 8th grader. Say you haven't yet realized that the twenty percent of your message that you hope will stick needs a punchy tag --but because you read and listen in the world that tag is "self-esteem".
Your message just struck out with the bases loaded. Missed the free throw, dropped the pass in the end zone & rolled a gutter ball. You just told the kid you're reading the same book as all the teachers from kindergarten forward who have unconsciously (it's the study guide, stoopid!) made a mockery of the whole active state of being.
That term is from Backwards Land, where unteachers use it to teach how to disappear the whole concept of self-respect.
If the kids (whom Luck turned out great in spite o' me) were little again, i'd hold up their hand and say "Observe --you have five fingers. Five is a great number for a list because you have your hand handy at all times. now figure out five thins that bother you about life --five things that you cando something about every day --and see if after a week or two you're not feelinhg better about everything."
Something like that --simple things --accomplishable things --are what self repect is made of. But no self-esteem --self-esteem is made of bullsh*t.
I can't see maturity as a metric to measure too much about a person. I picture the mind as a library full of books of events, experiences, interactions - good, bad, frightening, sad, joyous, eye-opening, and of cinemas of moments in life that shaped us. These books are opened in the present by triggers that associate with any of the pages, any of the books, and it is to that tome of remembrance that creates a reaction. Those reactions, as I see them, fall on a scale of 'maturity' that varies as much as the events of our lives vary. The example that comes to mind as I write, is looking at photographs of war or seeing soldiers who are in some theater of war. I weep. Where does that fit on the metric of 'maturity'? What book opened a mind-image that made me weep? I cannot eat in a restaurant if a single older man is dining alone. I have to leave and hold back a crashing feeling in my chest. What movie has my mind produced from its library to cause what most would consider an immature reaction? What pages flutter open when I find my back straighten and my shoulders square in defiance to authority I recognize as based on an inflated ego?
If we could delete our pasts, we might be able to count our maturity on our fingers as the years pass: When we can do a thumbs-up, we're there.
I've met many parents over the years who startled me by letting it drop that they were helping their 20-something college graduate kids with their rent or mortgage, because otherwise the poor darlings would have to live someplace Not Quite Nice. I can't imagine how this would turn out well. I always thought it was natural that young people would live cheap until they figured out how to make a better living. What's wrong with renting a cheap place with some friends to share the expenses? We did this until we'd saved up enough to buy our first house -- then we lived there until we'd paid the mortgage completely off. Beats hitting 40 with a zillion dollars on the credit card balance, and a huge, refinanced home mortgage!
There's a lot to be said for living poor. It teaches you how, and it teaches you to dread it less than you dread living in unsustainable debt.