Thursday, February 16, 2006

Get a Life

“What you need to do is get a life!” I hear college students say that to each other sometimes. It is just part of the Big Put-Down that is the way of speaking and relating today.

People are very self-absorbed these days, it seems to me. Or actually, they always have been—but they have never been as loud and open about it as they are now. Dedication to self is a deliberate pursuit of many today. And because Self is most important, it doesn’t seem to matter what they say or do, as long as Self benefits.

According to Alex and Brett Harris, authors of “Addicted to Adultescence,” social scientists have studied young adults who appear to be living in what they see as a

new stage of life development: extended adolescence. Dubbed "adultescence," it covers the ages of 18 to 29 and beyond. Sociologists claim that putting off adulthood has become a permanent trend among American youth, and now, young adults. As young adults ourselves, and as Christians, we have no choice but to come to grips with this social phenomenon.

Adultescents (we'll refer to them as "kidults") often live with their parents, even after college, while hopping from job to job and relationship to relationship. They generally lack direction, commitment, financial independence, and personal responsibility, while somehow managing to spend more time and money than the average American on clothes, movies, music, computers, video games and eating out.

For kidults marriage and family fall in the zone of "maybe, someday, but that's years away." The typical kidult isn't committed to any particular local church. They're doing all sorts of things, but getting nowhere, just living from day to day in their own Never-Never Lands. They're Peter Pans who shave.

Marriage and family, the Harrises point out, then, are not part of this set-up. To have a lasting relationship, you have to be attuned to the other—to think of the other before self.

The only way to get a real life is to give yours up. The only thing worth giving up your life for is to follow the way of Christ. The more closely you are bound to him, the more free and rich your life is. If you live as his beloved, you also love other people as much as yourself. Self is nothing to worship.

Harris, Alex, and Brett Harris. “Addicted to Adultescence.” Boundless Webzine. 16 Feb. 2006.
16 Feb. 2006

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