Growing up is hard to do

We all know thal learning to delay gratification is an important part of growing up, and we also know in our confessional moments that we never master all of those impulses that can being us to immediate joy,or sudden overwhelming regret. That is probably why we look forward to a life shared with robots.
Another, equally complex process is developing a discerning eye regarding the experts and authorities that tell us they are in charge of the medical, scientific, social and governmental institutions that govern us. When we feel misled, or conned, or worse, betrayed by the experts in banking we expect the experts in law and in the judiciary too put those devils in jail. If that doesn’t happen fast enough to suit us, we begin to suspect that someone is lining someone else’s pockets with green silk. Our trust in experts as a class of creatures begins to resemble the trust we had in the tooth fairy.
When that happens we move into a mode of thinking that undermines our ability to make what another generation referred to as “sound judgements”. We begin to respond to expert information that makes us uncomfortable as if its purpose is simply to make us feel bad. While reading the sign at the beach that says “No Swimming Today Because of Storms at Sea” if the stranger next to us says, “I don’t see any big waves, I bet they just want us to spend the day shopping,” we may not believe him, but we do put a question mark on the sign in our head, and feel a certain eagerness to see whether or not the storms really do come and cause trouble. We elevate an absurd comment from someone with neither knowledge nor experience and put it within range of what the authority has told us.
When it comes to larger issues where the new information will require us to make changes in what we believe and therefore in the way we live, we marshal the same kind of “reasons” as our stranger commentator to at first doubt it, and then to move onto ignoring it. In our desire to cling to what we have always believed, and thereby dismiss the need to change we are prepared to move from resistance: ,”I don’t need to make a change” to despair, “it’s too late to make a change.”
That two step is one that repeats itself in failure at school and at work, in friendships, in the family, in our political process, and in our responses to the challenges of climate change.
We are living in a time where our intellectual and emotional internal structures are being challenged to make adaptations that feel like evolution on steroids.
All of our climates are changing very rapidly. The international economic and political climates, the business and educational climates, the relationship between labor and management, full time and part time work. We as creatures are facing transitional demands that we have not been able to prepare for, and in fact, may not be able to make within the philosophic constructs that we have grown up believing in.
And our trust in the experts who we grew up expecting to guide us is shrinking.
Once again, and perhaps even more now than before, these are times that try our souls, and we will live into them with thoughtful and patient courage, or we will hide behind what used to be. And if we do that, we will ourselves become what used to be.

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