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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rites of Passage

Growing up in the modern world has its perks, but we've lost some things we once had.

Have you ever look at old photos from 80 or more years ago and looked at the young people? At 18 they looked like adults, not like overgrown adolescents. They didn't have the luxury of a prolonged childhood. There was work to do.

Every culture had their rites of passage to adulthood. Sometimes it was pretty hardcore, like being sent into the wilderness with nothing but a spear and knife. Whatever the ritual, when it was over they joined the ranks of the adults. In more recent times it might have been marked with a change of wardrobe.

Usually these days it just comes down to reaching a certain age. Is that age 18? A time when a person can join the military without parental permission or live on one's own. Is it 21, the legal drinking age in most states? A night of binge drinking isn't much of a rite of passage. Maybe it's 22 – 26, when those who've been to college finally get out into the working world. Perhaps one considers themselves an adult when they marry? The transition to adulthood has gotten pretty murky.

Economic conditions haven't helped much. Grown men and women, even some married with children, have had to move back in with their parents. That doesn't do much for one's sense of control and independence.

Something has been lost when young adults can't live like full and free adult humans with all the perks and responsibilities of adulthood.



  1. as hard times are coming back, new or old rituals will quiucken those whom survive if not their siblings into adulthood faster in order top survive the new worlds ahead

    gone be the forever fantasy of "young forever" most out there still cling on to....

    be always prepared for the worst so you can still laugh and sing at the self made doomed go to their early graves

    not a future you like but hey that is the real world me and you shall face soon too.....


    1. We have to take the world as it is, not as it was, nor as we want it to be.

  2. After the elite kill off the 75% they wish, things will get back to "normal."

    1. I don't think their plans will go as they think they will. Elites don't outlast their empires by very long.

    2. Yah, if they kill off so many of us serfs, who's going to provide for and serve them? They might have to get their hands dirty and actually work themselves!

    3. We are harder to kill off than they think.

  3. Children were mostly ignored in antiquity and through the 15th century because they often died young. They were just little people. After medicine allowed more children to live beyond infancy, parents and people in general paid more attention and were more affectionate and tender in their feelings.

    So began the slippery slope to today's helicopter parents. Maybe today's children know more than I did about technology, but there was no technology in my hands day and night. My parents kept close watch over me until the end of my teen years, but once out of their sight, I was pretty much on my own.

    I know we have horrid things happening to children, but parents today often handicap their children with constant "guidance" that leaves them no room to make choices.

    Until after WWII many families were two or three generation households. Men and women often lived at home, sharing a bedroom with siblings until the day they married. The move to "independence" came with subdivisions and the push for everyone to live in his own house--Levittown.

    There so many definitions of "adulthood" that a person can choose. In AL the age of majority is 19. Most young people want the perks/rights of adulthood and none of the work/responsibility. We have no rite of passage that is institutionalized. Actually, childhood has been lengthened for most children.

    Just my opinion.

    1. I was lucky to have an adult life before turning 19. Even the drinking age was 18 back then. I was running into burning buildings at 18 as a firefighter, risking my life. That does something to a person.

  4. A lot of young people don't get any education how can they get a job even at McDonalds who hire retirees and many others to work there who are educated? How can they move from their parents home when they can't even write out a check for a bill, repair a button on a shirt or dress or coat? cook a meal of anykind, put some money into a savings account for the ineviditable rainy day fund? no many children are ill prepared for anything due to their parents giving them too much hovering, money, cell phones, cars, etc. I say make all young adults be in the military to vote and live on their own, the military doesn't put up with much, but now we have an all volunteer military most can't even get into the military let alone serve..It is very sad the affairs of most people and their kids, they don't make it easy to grow up at all in this world of ours...

    1. My own kids learned to be independent, and I know many others that have the skills.

      In some ways the military can mature a person, but they also can hold young people back. Just think, they don't have to worry about their next meal, just follow orders. Not good prep for civilian life.

  5. I noticed pictures of time past were a lot more serious. Many of our photos today are of leisure times, 'chillaxing' at a bar-b-que, posing with smiling friends / family.

    The photos of the past were grim faced solemn people dressed in work clothing. I got the impression they were pulled away from hard labor just for the photograph, work to begin again after interruption.

    I made that comment to Dad, who told me Life was a lot of serious back then. Really didn't have a lot of time to relax, you might have had 20 minutes at the end of the day to think about what Tomorrow would bring.