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OPINION

America: Past Time to Grow Up

a woman with her face scrinched up and her fingers in her ears
(Dreamstime)

Alexandra York By Friday, 05 April 2024 09:10 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Spring break is over, and observing American families on holiday in two different states (one snow and one sun) is also — thankfully — over.

The Vermont visitors were mostly from the east coast (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New England); the Florida visitors were from the same tri-state area plus the mid-west.

The sampling was extensive in Florida, from Pompano Beach up to Hutchinson Island and all in between. Palm Beach was a mostly but far from entirely more sophisticated crowd, and the same can be said about upscale restaurant diners in both states.

Vermont is ski country, and visitors stayed at expensive hotels and inns on down to simple motels, yet many followed Florida’s pattern of mainstream appearance and behavior. Aside from refreshing instances (usually skiers at upper-end mountain resorts), most vacationers acted and looked like each other and also looked like locals in both playground states.

Money for food and drink did not seem to be an object of concern for anyone even though prices were high everywhere.

Visitors’ behavior at hotels: Unruly children of all ages from tots to teens running, jumping, screaming, and dominating swimming pools and hot tubs while young parents — 30s-40s — joined in the raucousness or busied themselves with cell phones and let their offspring run wild.

Books were sometimes present but rare. Locals’ behavior: Basically brusque or bored, hurried and harried.

Visiting so-called “adult” appearances: Tattoos — Arms (one or both covered); legs, backs, necks, hands, and fingers to different degrees. Piercing — Multiple ear decor, eyebrows, lips, noses, and some tongues. Hairstyles — Anything attention-getting. Cascading braids, stand-up bristles, shaved-here-but not-there, green, purple, orange. ...  Message T-shirts/sweats — From places to politics. Torn jeans. Locals’ appearances: Pretty much the same.

Restaurant observations: Failure to eat properly by both parents and children. With some exceptions most diners stuffed their big-bite food and chewed with open mouths; forks disappeared within clutched hands.

Noise levels were deafening as laughing and shouting were emitted by all ages, but none of the uproar seemed to bother some families where every member was glued to their cell phone while eating without engaging in any conversation at all.

Obesity was less prevalent in Vermont — skiers — but in Florida alarmingly common. Bikinis were as popular with waddlers as with the slim.

What to make of all this? One might be able to explain one ornamental tattoo, but dozens of overlapping designs? Even primitive tribes display affiliation or communal identity in an arranged manner.

Addictions to “more is better?” “Monkey see monkey do?”

In the past, obesity was frowned upon as not only unhealthy but unattractive (both of which are still true even if ignored). Respect for the context of other people — manners — used to be expected. No longer.

Most parents are as boisterous and inconsiderate as their children. Speaking of parents, where are the mature role-models for children to emulate?

Perhaps we now get close to answers. What is maturity?

Let’s start with immaturity. Generally speaking, one is considered to be immature when, while still young in chronological age with lack of knowledge and experience, they demonstrate an inability to control impulses, act on emotions, display a self-centered lack of appreciation for the context of others, and exhibit a pressing need to be the center of attention.

These attributes are natural for children because the young are still in a prolonged period of individualization that properly entails trying on different personalities, experimenting with physical appearances, learning to differentiate between reason and emotions, and desiring recognition by others as being important.

But usually by the age of majority — 18 in America — when most young people are finished with formal schooling, developed enough to objectively judge moral right from wrong and select rational life-serving values rather than vacillate between emotionally driven impulses, make initial career decisions, select romantic-sexual partners with care, and take on the responsibilities of adult self-sustaining/self-respecting behavior, the childish needs make way for full individuation into a unique adult who is secure in their worth as a person.

This, along with a refinement of manners, a thoughtfully created outward appearance that bespeaks an inner personality without signage, and dignified public discourse and comportment that does not interfere with the peace and space of others defines maturity.

We can hypothesize, then, if not conclude that chronological “adults” who crave attention to the point of advertising their personal penchants all over their body for everyone to see (and perhaps chat about) are signs of an immature desperation to be noticed; of course, this blatant in-your-face billboarding backfires because anyone with a particle of sense lumps such people all together as fad-following “losers” without any true identity under all the show.

The preponderance of obesity today generally signals a childish incapability to delay gratification, and loudness betrays both attention-getting and impulse-acting obsessions.

Most psychologically immature people are as malleable as any child, which should first give pause and then concern as to why America as a nation is so weak-willed internationally — no rational guiding principles — and so fragile internally — no rational self-selected values hence no self-respecting, strong-minded Self.

America’s real chronological children are demonstrably being indoctrinated into societal obedience; no one with eyes to see or ears to hear can deny this by now.

Until or unless We the People who have come of age in years but continue childish preoccupations (causing vulnerability to authoritarian dictates) grow up to adult responsibility and rational, mature courage to resist, the elite power lusters — there are countless internationally, nationally, and locally now — will destroy this exceptional country that still stands at least symbolically for personal freedom and individual rights.

If America as an idea founded on values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is allowed by its own citizens to perish, all lights of western civilization also will go out one by one or simultaneously under a global tyranny that is actively in the making by self-anointed and elected elites here and abroad. The hour is late and darkness hovers.

Alexandra York is an author and founding president of the American Renaissance for the Twenty-first Century (ART) a New-York-City-based nonprofit educational arts and culture foundation. She has written for many publications, including "Reader's Digest" and The New York Times. She is the author of "Crosspoints A Novel of Choice." Her most recent book is "Soul Celebrations and Spiritual Snacks." For more on Alexandra York — Go Here Now.

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AlexandraYork
Spring break is over, and observing American families on holiday in two different states (one snow and one sun) is also-thankfully-over. The Vermont visitors were mostly from the east coast (NY, NJ, CT and New England); the Florida visitors were from the same tri-state area...
america
1064
2024-10-05
Friday, 05 April 2024 09:10 AM
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