There’s too much perpetual adolescence.
No, I’m not going to complain about the lack of “good men,” because every single complainer has their own definition.
I’m also not going to complain about certain hobbies being “childish” or “lame,” because being into, I don’t know, building models or watching adventure movies is no less nerdy than being a sports fanatic.
I mean the idea that the assumption of responsibility be pushed off as far as possible for as long as possible. That’s the pernicious effect of prolonged adolescence.
We hear the litany of reductionist, though slightly accurate, insults like “Living in mom’s basement” and “man-baby” and so on–ignoring the fact that there are plenty of perpetually adolescent women who just want to party and drink and take Instagram selfies and live with their fur-babies and all of that. But the idea for both sexes is that they don’t want to grow up and start families.
Hell, some don’t even want to pay bills.
That’s what I mean by “perpetual adolescence,” and I’m sure you know some who fit this bill, even if they’re married and have children.
Perpetual adolescence is bad. But at the same time there’s something to be said for retaining the ability to think, and maybe indeed feel, in a childlike manner.
What do I mean? I don’t mean bursting into tears when you don’t get what you want, or, God forbid, turning into this guy:
. . . but being moved by the arts isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
And for the record, crying over a movie trailer is one thing. Putting a video of you crying about over a movie trailer on the Internet where everybody can and WILL make rude comments about you just isn’t smart.
This is a small digression into my broader point: it’s not the things of childhood to recapture, but the mindset.
To get excited about something isn’t always a sign of stupidity or conformity the way a jaded adult sees it. “Prepare for disappointment,” we sigh, telling ourselves we’re just protecting ourselves from getting our hopes up when we’re really pre-programming ourselves against enjoyment. Isn’t it better to at least hold out hope that something might live up to expectations?
And if you enjoy a thing even though the gatekeepers tell you it’s not worthy, who is harmed?
To be fascinated by something is likewise not a sign of the simple-minded. Fascination can lead one to inquire how a thing works. And this can lead to all sorts of interesting new discoveries, as well as a sense of accomplishment.
And why not he fascinated by this amazing world we take for granted?
More than anything, a child possesses an ability to try nearly anything with the hope of becoming the best in the world at it. And instead of inventing a billion reasons why that’s highly, statistically unlikely or when impossible to dissuade themselves from the eventual disappointment of the failure they “know” lay in the future, they just do it.
Unless some adult, like a parent, tells them it’s statistically unlikely or impossible, so don’t other.
Maybe we never become the best in the world at the thing they’re talking about, but at least we tried when we were young. Can you say the same about yourself now? Can I?