Sunday, September 23, 2012

Give the Keys to Your Inner Teen-Ager

In the early days of setting pen typewriter to paper (you want early, you’ve got early), your demographic was about evenly divided between characters your own age and those who had morphed on into adulthood.  Your goal was to tell entertaining stories that at the same time probed into matters of understanding and awareness.

Underneath it all, you wanted to show your younger characters having a leg or two up on adults, more or less able to cope with them on a peer level.  Not a good idea.  You soon discovered that adults regarded younger persons who wanted to be their peers as smartasses.

That, of course, was then.  Now, the playing field has shifted.  Young persons in your narratives want to be in charge, and older persons want to make up for things they hadn’t realized they wanted when they were growing up.

As time progressed, you also discovered an interesting reverse was true.  Adults who wanted to appear as peers to younger persons were reaching for the wrong product on the wrong shelf.  You were not aware of the ironic dynamic going because you were still too much a part of it.  You had to watch the meaning of irony evolve from mere crossed purposes to an internal war being waged within the human psyche as well as between Reality and all those who choose to comment on it.

For your part, you wanted to be young with grown-up awareness and techniques.  In your frame of view, grown-ups wanted to apply such techniques as they had with the idealism and energy of youth.  While you were wishing for instructions in the smorgasbord of pragmatism, adults were smarting from the idealism and certainty they’d recently put out for lawn sales.

Some religions and other philosophies try to dance around this inner schism—because it still exists in so many of us—with non-dualistic approaches.  God is in everything.  God is everything.  The universe is replicated in everyone and everything.  Some approaches go so far as to offer a hypothetical proof in the fact of the human blood stream equaling the chemical composition of the pre-Cambrian Sea.

Like so many medications and systems, these religions and other philosophies work well in some cases but not all.  They also have lists of side effects that remind you of the warnings you’re given when you purchase prescriptions.
Your personal solution is a democratic one, involving your recognition that you’re composed of a broad demographic of temperament and attitude, but also of age.  You’re often surprised and amazed when you in effect turn the keys over to your inner teen-ager who, after listening to your attempts at explaining how things work out there in the world, surely has ideas of his own that are interesting and valid.  The next plateau is to ramp that up from surprise to confidence.

There are things to be learned in the process, not the least of which is to stop buying into propaganda about gender and generational conflicts.  Most of this propaganda is orchestrated by individuals who listen to their inner Karl Rove, whose goal is control.

Do you in fact wish to be controlled by someone your age?  Have you experienced truly enhancing advice from inner and outer entities telling you to act your age?

Ah.  You already know the answers.

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