On the Adolescent Fixation of the Modern West

Community in Mission | 10/16/2018 | Msgr. Charles Pope
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Recently at the Synod on Youth, Archbishop Charles Chaput made the following observation:

Unfortunately, many “developed” countries today are actually “underdeveloped in their humanity. They’re frozen in a kind of moral adolescence; an adolescence which they’ve chosen for themselves and now seek to impose upon others.

Topic - Article - Blog - Kind - Teenage

I have written on this topic as well. What follows is largely taken from an article I first published on this blog in 2010. In it I wrote about the kind of teenage fixation that is evident in our culture.

Psychologists define fixation in the following way:

Fixation - Refers - Focus - Energies - Stage

Fixation refers to a persistent focus of pleasure-seeking energies on an earlier stage of psychosexual development. A fixation occurs when an issue or conflict in a psychosexual stage remains unresolved, leaving the individual focused on this stage and unable to move onto the next.

I would like to argue that our modern culture seems to manifest many fixations that are typical of the teenage years. In fact, one way to describe our modern culture is to see it as developmentally like that of a teenager. Such a situation presents rather serious problems in terms of facing life with the necessary sobriety, seriousness, and maturity; it also means that there are many people in our culture who never grow up.

Examples - Mentality - Fixation - Teenage - Issues

Here are some examples of what I see as a teenage mentality and a fixation on teenage issues.

Wanting all the rights but none of the responsibilities – As children begin to approach adulthood, it is not uncommon for them to declare to their parents that once they are 18 they are adults and therefore should be able to do as they please.

Adulthood - Age - Children - Job - Bills

Adulthood does not magically happen at the age of 18. Rather, it happens as children move out, get a job, and pay their own bills. In other words, adulthood is about accepting and...
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