Adulting and the Dumbing Down of the American Grown Up

By Sigmund Fraud

The term ‘arrested development’ comes to mind when pondering the all too often ludicrous behavior of modern adults. It is used to describe people who are stuck in a childlike level of psychological development, unable to grow beyond the behaviors, attitudes and dependencies that mark the pre-adulthood stage of life. Something is holding them back, or something is preventing them from moving forward.

The esteemed author and scholar of mythology, Joseph Campbell, reminds us that in cultures from around the world, the journey from adolescence to adulthood is a big deal, historically marked with ceremony and rites of passage. In this, a young person must confront their greatest fears, overcome them, then integrate themselves into the world as a newly established co-creator, abandoning the roles of dependent and victim.

The boys are brought up to be in fear of the masks that the men wear in their rituals. These are the gods. These are the personification of the power and the structure of society. The boy, when he gets to be more than his mother can handle, the men come in with their masks, and they grab the kid, and he thinks he’s been taken by the Gods.

The mask represents the power that is shaping the society and that has shaped our world, and now you are a representative of that power. – Joseph Campbell

But there is nothing to speak of in contemporary life that serves this purpose, and it is quite evident when observing the behavior of many modern adults that people just don’t seem to have grown up beyond adolescence. What passes for adult behavior these days is all to often comical, embarrassing, even frightening. Like a theatre of the absurd, bubbling just below the surface in America is a collective temper tantrum. It could be generational, but one must account for the effect that each generation has on the development of the next to come.

Avoidance of responsibility has become en vogue, and there is now an actual thing called ‘adulting.’ Essentially it is a cultural meme where grown people complain about having to deal with the day-to-day responsibilities of life after childhood.

And so this jokey way of describing one’s engagement in adult behaviors—whether that is doing your own taxes, buying your first lawn mower, staying in on a Friday, being someone’s boss or getting super pumped about home appliances—can help those millennials acknowledge and/or make fun of and/or come to grips with that transition (or how late they are to it).

This is, after all, a transition their friends may not be going through yet or one that might seem to herald that certain end to their fading youth. To say you are “adulting” is to, on some level, create distance between you and what are implied to be actual adults who are adulting 100% of the time and therefore have little reason to acknowledge it. Or if they do, they might instead use phrases like “going about my normal day.” [Source]

Basic life skills such as changing a tire, boiling an egg, or cooking a meal, are being forgotten, somehow lost in a consumer’s paradise of instant gratification among infinite options. Adulting celebrates the idea that handling life’s basic responsibilities is praiseworthy, which is a tremendous lowering of standards, a dumbing down of our potential.

Incredibly, this is so real there’s already a counter-movement. Have a look…

The systematic dumbing down of the American student is well documented by whistleblowers and insiders of the education system, and now more than ever, we see the results of training children for tests and conformity, as opposed to training them for life and individuation. Because of this, a greater crisis is looming in the hidden parts of the psyche, some kind of emotional fallout, where people are encouraged to beat the isolation of modern existence by indulging in foolishness and making examples of themselves.

We seem to have lost our identity. Children and old people are penned up and locked away from the business of the world to a degree without precedent – nobody talks to them anymore and without children and old people mixing in daily life a community has no future and no past, only a continuous present. In fact, the name “community” hardly applies to the way we interact with each other.

We live in networks, not communities, and everyone I know is lonely because of that. In some strange way school is a major actor in this tragedy just as it is a major actor in the widening guilt among social classes. Using school as a sorting mechanism we appear to be on the way to creating a caste system, complete with untouchables who wander through subway trains begging and sleep on the streets. – John Taylor Gatto

It is no secret that political control of many millions of people is much easier when the quality of the individual is reduced. The reason for this being the desire to produce dependents and workers for the corporate state. People who acquiesce to anything and are too thoughtless or afraid to resist systemic tyranny. Conformity in helplessness and dependency seems to be the aim.

Beyond developing a general lack of life skills, growing up means developing a proper attitude and relationship towards life and oneself. It includes a reckoning with fear, and an understanding of one’s role as a creator in the world in which they live. This type of personal evolution is only possible when we encourage youth to move beyond childhood, and as Joseph Campbell pointed out, we evolve once we take on the journey of life.

Independence is impossible without personal responsibility, and without knowledge we are powerless to influence our lives. Has growing up really become the struggle of our times?

Read more articles by Sigmund Fraud.

Sigmund Fraud is a survivor of modern psychiatry and a dedicated mental activist. He is a staff writer for where he indulges in the possibility of a massive shift towards a more psychologically aware future for humankind.

This article (Adulting and the Dumbing Down of the American Grown Up) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Sigmund Fraud and It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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18 Comments on "Adulting and the Dumbing Down of the American Grown Up"

  1. not to worry, the criminal police state will take care of usa all, one at a time and collectively.

    • their open season on retards. like a fish farm.

      • retards are not their problem, it’s their high IQ victims that are, especially when they don’t play their game. If you don’t know the difference between a retard and a high IQ dude, you got no business in their home, e-mail correspondence, or killing millions of children and others around the world for Jew money.

  2. I blame the 1960’s…and the breeders that came from that era with zero parenting skills, zero critical thinking skills and zero morality.

  3. A Product Of HollyWierd

  4. This explains the morons in America. Add to this, Aspartame and food chemicals, water and environmental contaminants, and really stupid people having children….and one can easily figure out “why” we are where we are in this country. Thank God I live in the mountains, away from all this liberal bulls*it.

  5. To the rich and privileged writer, please understand you came from a time when America allowed the pursuit of happiness with gainful employment or what is called a ‘living wage job’ with manufacturing for the uneducated.

    You are a product of a different time, if you like to bring the old days back then bring living wage employment back so that people WANT TO BE INDEPENDENT LIKE YOU!

    • Vlad TheSkewerer | August 28, 2017 at 6:29 am | Reply

      I remember those times, hobby stores, sporting goods and men’s specialty clothing stores were all over the place back then.

  6. Jackie Puppet | August 27, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Reply

    This sounds like JD Harmeyer, 37-year old staffer on the Howard Stern show and all-around mushmouth, who didn’t know how to boil water until a few years ago.

    • Jackie Puppet, you provided YEARS of laughs at Jackie’s expense, duly deserved, and you’re right about JD, that mushmouth was very far gone, I haven’t kept up with the show since just after Artie nearly ended his time on Earth, and the changes Howard’s made since have been terrible.

      Fred and Billie and You, just slayed Jackie mercilessly, and it was a true joy to listen to, thanks friend!

  7. Louis Charles | August 27, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Reply

    Learn about their Talmud… This stuff will all make sense.

  8. Vlad TheSkewerer | August 28, 2017 at 6:44 am | Reply

    And now half of Texas sits underwater and with it tons of mechanical gear. Buck up snowflakes and get into an apprentice program, there will be work for years over this. Provided the insurance industry isn’t bankrupted over this.

  9. Your article makes some really good points, though it is difficult to see, with advancing unemployment / underemployment, how the young are to become independent and move out of their parents’ place without a reliable income, as the very basic foundation of independence.

    A chance to earn a living wage will surely make buying that first domestic appliance a breeze.

    And when you refer to basic life skills, such as cooking a meal, I’d like to have seen my dad’s or grandfather’s generation of men cooking a meal.

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