Kennedy's 'Postcards from
The nonvirtue of selfishness
Jonal entry 895 | Wednesday, July 27, 2005
It wasn't about keeping a youthful attitude into your senior years or where you draw the lines between war babies and baby boomers, gen-Xers and gen-Yers. Some readers seemed to miss that it was about the Colorado mom who's been charged with throwing sex parties for her teenage son and his buddies; about every man who has put his own pleasure above his obligation/opportunity to be a role model for youngsters; parents who fight with other parents, coaches, or referees over their children’s standing in sports teams; all parents who would rather be friends than parents to their children; everyone who's filed for divorce or failed to fight for a marriage despite having an opportunity to see the consequences of a broken family for their offspring. It was about abortion as birth control and believing good sex is a morally neutral right. It was meant to be about refusing to grow up or behave as adults into one's 30s, 40s, and even the grandparenting years.
It wasn't about guilt, "guilting" anyone, or feeling guilty, which finger would aim as directly at me as anyone else. It was trying to suggest some ways in which the post-war (WWII) generations may have gotten off track. I thought that mentioning that the pre-rock and roll movies seem to feature a phase of adulthood that doesn't even exist in today's culture would strike everyone as an obvious truth that points to something with bigger consequences to our time. Many things were not better before 1955 than now, but the family life and lifestyle of the Andersons in Father Knows Best was probably preferable to that of the Bundys in Married with Children, and the "difference" is traceable to a culturewide choice to not grow up when the time came.
It was about "me worship" (aka narcissism), which has always been with us but not to the current extent. And it may get worse before the social tenor gets better. I was advocating no social remedy through legislation, courts, or enforcement, though walking the walk and talking the talk are always indicated.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me, (1 Corinthians 13:11).
Webmaster Jon Kennedy