Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,
Andrew
perspectivism

the enduring necessity of midlife crisis

Over the course of the past two hundred years Americans have vacillated between two great fears—fear of chaos and fear of conformity. During some periods we worried that individualistic energies would tear apart the bonds of community. During others we feared that our national élan was being enervated as we tamed our personalities in order to climb the corporate ladder and lead sensible, respectable lives.

Today conformity is once again a bigger threat than chaos. The forces of seriousness and maturity are everywhere closing in. If this trend continues, we will soon be living in a country unworthy of the greatness that was P. T. Barnum, our true Founding Father. It is up to the Boomers, and especially the male Boomers, to tap the wellspring of their own narcissism, and so unleash the testosterone-befogged dynamism that has always powered this nation to new and ever shallower realms of discovery. Some generations are called to war, some to pioneer new land; ours is called to stare adoringly at ourselves in resort hotel-room mirrors [...]

Men have to choose between two basic types of midlife crises: the sensitive New Age spiritual quest and the vulgar materialist binge.

(Inspired Immaturity, David Brooks)
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