I do not like dealing with adults. I used to think that there was a definite line drawn between the behavior and attitudes of adults and the behavior and attitudes of youth. The older I get, and the more experience I have working with adults disproves this theory completely. Especially when you live in the suburbs. Suburban living was a new concept to me a few years ago when we moved to this area. I spent the first part of my life in a small town and the latter years have been in more urban areas. Moving to the suburbs was a bit of a culture shock. I remember going to a local shopping center and feeling clausterphobic with all of the huge SUV’s parked in the parking spaces, many of them sporting youth soccer stickers on the rear windows. Then there was the feeling of inadequacy as I watched woman after woman emerge from these SUV’s looking trim, stylish, and Gucci-ed. My little Neon and I just didn’t seem to fit. I’ve since gotten over that. I also got a Volkswagen. And, I’ve learned that there is a much darker side to suburbia which includes massive debt, high-stress, lack of intimacy and infidelity. One thing I haven’t gotten over is this sense of entitlement that seems to seep into everything in the suburbs.
My husband has been battling this attitude for three years now in our church. Church members who run corporations think that they can bring those same attitudes and principles into running the church, regardless of the experience and expertise the pastors bring. Staff members fight each other for power and postition. Cliques are formed, alliances made. It’s like middle school all over again. Then, there is my breastfeeding support group. Although I no longer attend the group meetings, I still participate in the web-post. Today, for the second time in just a few months, e-maill in-fighting has occurred. One woman sent out an e-mail about her negative impressions of a child-care facility she toured. Another woman, who uses the facility, took great offense and the e-mails started flying.
Now, I can handle these situations when working with my fifth graders. But these are adults. Doesn’t that mean anything anymore? Judging by the newest spate of reality T.V. shows on the air this season, I would have to say no. I think we’re taught in our culture to behave like perpetual junior high schoolers. It sells magazines, and makes for good T.V. Good ratings mean good business. However, I believe there is a reason we aren’t all still in junior high school. The natural progression of life is that we grow and mature. We shouldn’t be out there still behaving like 12 year olds. We, as adults, need to come back to adulthood. We need to forget what we think we deserve or should have, we need to stop being so thin-skinned and easily offended, we need to value good dialogue and learn the art of constructive criticism. More importantly, we need to set an example for our children, not let our children be the example for us.
Blessings and Peace,