Tim Challies has a review on a book, The Death of the Grown-up by Diane West, that is raising a lot of conversation. Here’s one paragraph:
It seems that one of the driving forces behind the death of the grown-up was the rise of the teenager. Before the 1940’s, the term teenager was unknown; before this period humans tended to fall into only two groups—children and adults. Exactly when a child transitioned to adult could vary, but what was clear was that there was no intermediate period. Furthermore, children, or those in their teen years, would seek to identify with adult culture—they would seek to behave like adults, to dress like adults, and to be taken seriously like adults. Today the tables have turned. “That was then. These days, of course, father and son dress more or less alike, from message-emblazoned t-shirts to chunky athletic shoes, both equally at ease in the baggy rumple of eternal summer camp. In the mature male, these trappings of adolescence have become more than a matter of comfort or style; they reveal a state of mind, a reflection of a personality that hasn’t fully developed, and doesn’t want to – or worse, doesn’t know how.”
If West is correct, our society needs to grow up and needs to do so before it is too late. Yet whether or not you find you agree with her prescription, only a person blind to the culture could disagree with her initial analysis. And on this basis alone this book is worth reading and enjoying. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in understanding the culture we find ourselves in.