There is something in our world that cultivate perpetual adolescence. And I’m not alone in noticing the grid-lock especially in young men that has them running on a hamster cage wheel. Beverly De Soto has this to say about the “eerie” phenomena.
“I am puzzled by Generation Xers. No, really. I know that they are regularly termed ‘slackers’ by Boomers, and I do think that’s a bit unfair. I’ve taught graduate level Finance classes to Gen Xers – albeit in a military environment – and I have seen little evidence of the whining and slacking they are accused of.
No, what astonishes me about Gen Xers is the fence-sitting. About, literally, everything. About their LIVES.
It’s eerie, actually. An entire generation of people who adamantly refuse to commit to, well, anything. Marriage is too scary. Choosing a serious career path is too hard. Then, there’s the living-at-home-forever syndrome.
All of this means we are facing something entirely new in the history of the world: an entire generation of middle-aged teenagers. Adults, whose tastes and ideas are substantially the same as they were as teens. Baseball caps worn backwards, pants drooping ostentatiously over protruding bellies, wolfing down Big Macs while flashing expensive manicures.
The snarky humor — an ironic “awesome” — is the familiar byword for this entire generation. They perch on the fence, en masse, mysteriously refusing to step off onto the solid ground of adulthood.
It’s all so surreal — as if we are descending into a time when, try as they might, an entire generation’s attempts at legitimacy end in self-mockery.
Xers desperately crave legitimacy, which they imagine comes from spending money. At the same time, they insist on their ‘right’ to acceptance, regardless of how unacceptable their appearance or behavior may be. For some strange reason, they are blind to a plain fact that every other generation has acknowledged: One cannot demand respect, or legitimacy. These things must be earned.
All of this insanity is, of course, way too much for the average human being to endure. If every single certainty in one’s life – morality, beauty, truth – easily falls victim to ‘spin,’ then why would a normal person ever get off the fence?
There’s no safe ground on which to land.
Clearly, Gen Xers’ fence-sitting belies a deep distrust which today pervades the West.
What do they distrust? Well, everything. Our institutions, our laws, and each other. This lack of trust is so deep, it’s almost as if they cannot bring themselves to risk anything.”
And yet, Beverly comments, stellar Catholic men do emerge from this generation. Stellar in a near biblical scale as they also follow a star, a sign that leads them through the dark landscape to a humble child where God’s glory shines.
There is an antidote to our modern squeaky illness of perpetual wheel spinning. It is the paradox of Bethlehem where God emptied himself to enter into our humanity. If we look upon that little Christ Child we see a profound singular choice God himself made on our behalf. We see God’s yes, I will redeem man, through a Virgin’s fiat and we are offered a free choice to echo the refrain — I am less and He is more. I am the seeker and he is the Love that I seek.
Humility is the key to the understanding the star. The Wise Men knew this well. It remains for us today the antidote to our fence-sitting generation. Make a stellar move, jump off the fence toward the Christ-Star.
Read Beverly De Sotos great article, The Mysterious Fence-Sitters of Gen X | http://reginamag.com/mysterious-fence-sitters-generation-x