Two hundred years ago in America, you were a man when your voice changed and you got some hair on your chest; a woman when you developed physically and began menstruation. Based on this, I’ve been a man since I was 14.
In my grandparent’s day, you were a man or a woman when you graduated high school. Based on this, I’ve been a man since I was 18.
In my parent’s generation, you were a man or a woman when you graduated college with an advanced degree or went into the military. Based on this, I’ve been a man since I was 22.
Today, you are a man or a woman when you either A) own your own house, B) can out-drink all of your peers without losing it all in the toilet and still make it to work in the morning (or have at least tried to), or C) have lost your virginity – to multiple partners, if possible. Based on this, I am still not a man, not by any count.
What’s going on here? I see a definite trend of pushing adulthood back in our culture. Whereas in the past a person was expected to be a responsible, respectable, and productive member of society before even exiting their teens (or at least not far afterwards), now we increasingly see it as normal (even acceptable, for some) for folks to be coming up on 30 years old and still living like “life’s a party, and anybody but me is buying”.
Okay, so maybe I’m overstating things (or am I?), but the notion of adulthood is certainly not the same as it was even 50 years ago. There are several things I think I could say here, but I want to get your take on this:
#1 – Has the notion of “adulthood” changed in America over the years, in your opinion?
#2 – Is this a positive change? Or a negative one?
#3 – Why?
#4 – What truly defines adulthood? i.e. How do you know when you’ve reached maturity?
Seriously, I’m not asking for much, just a short and sweet paragraph throwing out any thoughts or insights you, my general audience, may have on this. You don’t even have to respond to all 4 points, just pick one and let me hear from you. Rest assured, I have my own opinion fairly well in mind, and I will be blogging it this week, God willing.
‘Till then, your thoughts?