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Teenagers and our crumbling society

You'd think my blog for today would be about successfully completing my first day completely, totally without aid as a dad. Kelly is in Godforsaken, Georgia. Or is that Alpharetta? I think she went to Alpharetta. It's for a very brief 2 days, but it's Cole's first night away from her. Or is that "her first night away from him?"

We had a big day. All naps were taken (including Dad's). Meals were eaten. We spent a couple hours at the zoo watching them milk goats. The dog got walked. There were only brief moments of tears--mostly his. And he went to bed at way too reasonable an hour...to the point where I question whether or not I may be getting up in just a little bit.

Anyway, no this rant is about something else. Teenagers. I was one. I'm sad to say Cole and his yet-unborn sister will become one. We all hate them. But why?

Where to begin, right?

No, what specifically came to me on my long 12 mile run the other day was not that they travel in packs, always have something smart to say, have no respect, smell horrible, listen to horrible music, etc.. It was that beneath all that is an undercurrent of sarcasm and irony that fuels everything they do.

We've created it ourselves...if you want to speak from the developmental/evolutionary psychology point of view. We've imposed a social era equal to a no man's land on young adults that is neither child nor adult. It's a bitter time.

What really came to mind about teenagers--and our national political situation--is that it has to do with a distaste for existing norms. They hate everything. Our culture today hates everything. There's hardly anything immune. Watch reality tv for a few minutes and it counters out any image of the genteel or civilized. We don't want to pay taxes, have manners, think about how other people might feel, everything is corrupt, and everyone is out for me, me, me. Mocking and selfish is the rule.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending some of the crumbling institutions like religion, marriage, the 2 parent family, that to some are the logical other end of the chaos. Those things will not save us.

But I do find it sadly amusing that as an adult I've matured to realize that the basic fabric of society that is necessary to maintain the convenience of modern life looks a lot like the structures our society/teens are so skeptical of.

It means getting along with others, taking certain things seriously, trying to become more intelligent, paying your taxes and taking interest in the community. They used to call that civics. The rights and duties of citizenship. The world doesn't revolve around you.

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