Why Youth Culture Is Pushed

Almost every American alive has been raised in a youth-centric culture. If it isn’t the left outright pushing the idea that youth have some sort of unique wisdom to offer people, as if I have any reason to respect Greta Thunberg’s opinions on anything, it is a culture in which age is simply treated as an unmitigated disaster.

When I was younger, I didn’t notice much. It was just the water we swam through.

As the years went on I started to wonder why this was pushed so hard by the evil culture around us. Of course to the person likely to read this the answer is obvious, and even as a teenager I could have given you what I would call the book answer: The culture needed to sever you from the experiences of the older generation who already lived what the culture is pushing and could warn you about the consequences, because after all while living a hippie lifestyle may have become more popular in the 1960s, there have always been people living that way. Locking the warnings they could give behind the “old, out-of-touch fogey” memeset was visibly very effective.

Now that our wife and I are in our 40s, the answer is now very obviously moving from the book realm to the realm where we can simply feel it. This is the way of the Wisdom of the Lord; the wisdom I learned by rote and applied almost blindly in my youth becomes ever deeper and more colored by life experiences, ever more nuanced even as it is never contradicted.

My wife and I look out in our peer group, which includes both people living traditionally (not even necessarily “Christian”) and people living the modern life, and the divergence in experiences is becoming more and more clear.

People in their 20s can argue the differences away. Sure, I had some peers overdose on drugs or commit suicide, but that’s easy to argue away as just bad luck or their own one-off issues. The delta between the ones who married, often generally young by modern standards, and the ones who stayed in the fun and exciting dating world, getting hurt by serial monogamy before finally trying to settle down with a nominally-final partner, was easy to ignore. Yeah, maybe that did hurt a bit more but they had more “fun”, so, who’s to say who is ahead on the net, right?

But now the divergences are undeniable and pervasive.

My peers all have children in mid-teens through early adulthood. There’s even some “comps”, to borrow the real estate term, where the children had similar issues starting out between the two groups. While nothing is guaranteed, of course, there’s night and day differences between the children in the groups. The further divergence of our culture since I was a child has just amplified this. Nobody’s confused about their gender on the traditional side. On the other side there are children where their parents have all but forced it on them in the misguided belief it’s somehow a good thing.

One side has the teenage delinquency. The children are on the young side for teenage pregnancy but I am sure that will be along shortly, and I don’t mean that as mere standard Gen-X cynicism; I mean that based on a sober assessment of the behaviors I see. We’re seeing only the leading edge of drug abuse in my peer group’s children but I can see that coming soon too… but only on the side following the culture’s lead. The tradition/Christian side is not perfect, of course, but the children are visibly much farther from the destruction of drugs.

In the parents, on the non-trad side I would characterize most of their marriages as “rocky”. Surviving. Perhaps even in some sense to their credit as they “survive” through rougher waters than the trad side. But rougher. The stresses of the misbehaving teenage children are worse for them and it’s hitting their already-less-committed marriages harder.

It is, again, not all sunshine and roses for the Christian/traditional side. Couldn’t even begin to claim that. Everyone exercises free will. The only perfectly-raised humans in the history of the world rebelled even so.

Nevertheless, the difference is strong and undeniable.

I don’t write this to brag. I’ve tried to leave my own children out of it, and no, they are not perfect and we have our own worries. But older people do need to talk about this sometimes so the younger can hear it.

The culture is constantly braying about how stuck up, repressive, controlling, confining, etc. the traditional/Christian way is. The putative need to be freed from all moral constraints is a pillar of the Mystery religion where ever it is found. The Gnostic demiurge is merely one of the cleanest manifestations of this idea, hardly the only.

And this message is mighty powerful to a youth, especially when cut off from his elders. But the youth is being offered a path that billions have already walked before him, and the youth is well advised to look down the various paths on offer, calmly, soberly, and without letting the screeching accusations of the world be taken without question.

I tell you that the Christian path is far preferable. It may be a slow burn, but it adds up over years and decades to a far more joyful life.

I expect this divergence to continue as I age. Here in my 40s is simply where the divergence has become undeniable, but I see no reason that it will reverse.

Do not let anyone sell you on a path based just on the first few steps. Look all the way down to where it goes. You will not regret such examination.

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