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.
As with orthodox Freudianism, there is a hedonistic bias to the ideal of maturity that the study proclaims. To blossom is to shed “rigid” attitudes. There is nothing more contemptible than an “inhibition.” Perhaps you think that, in a free society, in-hibitions are good since they spare us from having to submit to others’ pro-hibitions.But if that is how you think, you will find this book’s system of values un-intelligible. Vaillant sees evidence of one Episcopal minister’s maturation in the way “he had put aside absolute convictions about faith, morality, and authority in favor of a new appreciation of their relativity and mutability.” If this book has a hero, it is a meathead named Boatwright, who says, “I don’t give a damn if I’m remembered for anything. I’ve enjoyed my life and had a hell of a good time.”
I am sorry to say that the socio-cultural bias is a darn shame. My profession is half-good at defining problems, but terrible at defining relative health. Everybody has at least one problem, and having problems is normal.
Everybody struggles with problems. As CS Lewis reminded us, bear that in mind whenever you meet somebody. Therefore be kind (but always be alert to predators).
C.S. Lewis has a character in "The Great Divorce," an Anglican minister who congratulates himself on the flexibility and progressiveness of his religious views, and who invites his listeners to imagine all the wonderful directions Christianity might have gone into if only Christ had lived a little longer and refined some of His primitive views.