After my past post on entitlement, where I discussed my childhood, and where I am at on my life path, I mentioned seeing my parents as cohesive, “easy” adults.
I always sort of expected that this sort of inner and outer respect would magically manifest itself as surely as my voice would drop.
I think a core issue rests in not having a clearly defined sense of self, and trying to exist within social norms. Now, further problems can be found within these norms, as not only do they shift, but rarely do they provide enough flexibility and space for alternative unique and individual roles.
What I’m referring to is the social cliques or stereotypes.. Whether it’s the hipster or the nerd, the business man or the athlete.. There’s a certain collection of brands that each is expected to embrace, and by doing so, fit in with similar groups.
Gone seems to be the nuclear man.. as in the center of the 50’s nuclear family. While I’m happy to see a departure from this chauvinistic, emotionally barren, strong jawed husband and father, I do somewhat wistfully appreciate the structure that he was born into. The sort of “entitlement and hierarchy” he was given the proverbial keys to once he became 18 years of age ( not to mention the amazing jazz he has access to – but I digress)
While I have no problems seeing the immediate sort of responsibilities and burdens this immediately transferred (the bad with the good), this did do an excellent job of teaching through hardship. There’s so little structure in today’s western society that it forces us to create our own boundaries, guidelines within which we operate.
That’s not intrinsically bad so long as we have been instilled with the tools in order to do so. Those who have grown up lost have so many avenues of support to lean on that it can become difficult to know not only how to stand on ones own two feet, but whether we even possess a set of legs to begin with!
I get that there’s plenty of argument on the other side, that flexibility and support give us “room to breathe” to “find out what our true passion is in life” I actually hope this this post generates a bit of discussion, because it’s an issue I plan on spending a few entries discussing..
I have decided to record a few guest discussions from men I respect, to get their perspectives on how they perceived adulthood versus what they experienced as they actually reached an age and were thrust into it. I might also include some women as well, but at the moment I am focusing on men because I find it more directly applicable to my own identity.
Here’s the accompanying vlog that inspired the interviews.