The Kidification of America: On the Goodness of Maturity

Contra our narcissistic culture, you find yourself when you find God.

We’ve grown up in a feelings-driven, truth-averse, trigger-happy culture. We’ve been told that we’re only authentically human when we “express ourselves,” whatever that means. We’ve witnessed the breakdown of the family as adults dissolve lifelong bonds over a few afternoon court dates.

 

The way to stand out today is this: to hunger to be mature. In a culture that has aestheticized rebellion, immaturity, and the expressive self, the way to truly march to your own beat is to pursue maturity.

Compare this statement to the findings of a new study discussed in The Telegraph. According to polling data, many twentysomethings don’t consider themselves “grown up” even after starting a family. This is startling news:

Just over one in five (22 per cent) of the 2,000 adults surveyed said that people felt mature when they had their own children, while a further fifth (21 per cent) said it was when they moved out of their parents’ home.

We’re in the age of the “Kidification” of America. We adults watch comic-book movies, wear the shorts and leggings that seven-year-olds have traditionally worn, take our favorite games with life-and-death seriousness, show up late to the functions we attend, refuse to build a vocation in order to hold a series of jobs that we never truly commit to, spend above our means and thus incur heaping debt, opt out of our commitments on a whim, snark and blurt out a constant stream of commentary on social media, narcissistically whine about how hard life is (to people whose lives are demonstrably harder than ours), and act wounded when confronted with our faults.

We can understand why this complex of trends converges in “Kidification.” We’ve grown up in a feelings-driven, truth-averse, trigger-happy culture. We’ve been told that we’re only authentically human when we “express ourselves,” whatever that means. We’ve witnessed the breakdown of the family as adults dissolve lifelong bonds over a few afternoon court dates. We’ve observed the rise of 24-hour celebrity culture, with more people than ever longing to live like Hollywood stars (who inwardly crave the normalcy they had before clawing ambition overtook them). The economy over the last century or so has thrived, and so we have a good deal of leisure time, allowing us to devote ourselves to games and hobbies.

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