“Emerging adults,” in case you’re not familiar with the term, is another category we’ve created not unlike my parents generation created the category “teenager.” Prior to my generation you just went from single digits to “buck up.” It seems we keep moving the goalposts on accountability with each additional category. Moving on.
I’m currently rereading the book titled Lost in Transition, by Christian Smith (2011) which describes emerging adults (18-29 year olds) as being morally adrift to put it mildly. The majority, in fact, have yet to face a moral dilemma and, even more telling, have yet to experience regret. Yup, it’s true, as far as truth goes. Guess you’ll have to read the book and form your own, right? He summarizes the prevailing worldview of todays youth as “liberal individualism.” Read this one, at my age, and you’ll be between a laugh and a tear throughout. The piercing part, since we have four adult children in said category (at time of authoring) is the author creates a fairly compelling argument as to the root causes – you and me.
I turned to the second chapter, hoping for some relief and was greeted by an old friend. A dead French guy (Blaise Pascal), and a stinging quote of his from the 1600’s. How could these old people have such perspective? I mean, come on man, all they had around ’em were dusty, ancient texts and candlelight…
“The only thing that consoles us for our miseries is distraction, yet that is the greatest of our wretchednesses. Because that is what mainly prevents us from thinking about ourselves and leads us imperceptibly to damnation. Without it we should be bored, and boredom would force us to search for a firmer way out, but distraction entertains us and leads us imperceptibly to death.”
What worldview are your children learning from you?
What are you doing to close your integrity gaps?
What is the basis for your moral code? Is it yours, your parents, your hardwiring, your culture, or from something beyond, before, and bigger than you?
Reflect on a recent moral dilemma you faced? How did you resolve? Is there such a thing as right and wrong? Are there any absolutes? Are you slowing down and reflecting as a habit of the heart, or just staying busy so there’s no time to think about such things?
As for me, I’ve got some responsibility, some regret, some repair, and some real, hard, work ahead. I am NOT yet the man I want to be. I kinda like that as a worldview thought. I guess you could say I believe in the “not yet and the soon to become.” What about you, what do you believe?
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)