Maturity, or Lack Thereof

July 2, 2013

“You live and learn, or you don’t live long.”
‘Lazarus Long’ quoted in Robert A. Heinlein’s TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE

As someone who has some practical experience in the electrical field, I have been exposed to many situations. Details always vary a great deal, but the basics remain. Due to this broad reach of experience, I may not be as skilled as someone who has specialized in one area. However, I will not be lost and helpless.

Children and teenagers are required to attend school by law. For many, it is a shock to enter college or the work force these days, and realize that lavish praise received in the past is now minimal or non-existent. What is it that makes the difference between an average person and an exceptional one? In my humble opinion, it is expressed in a willingness to learn, from any source. I would go further and say that lifelong learning is a necessary requirement of an attitude reflecting maturity.

Please recognize I do not imply that everyone must attend the equivalent of a Japanese ‘cram school’ and spend their time studying like the semester final exam is tomorrow. I only state that one must be willing to expose themselves to new situations, extract the essential information from them, and be prepared to apply that newly gained knowledge to another situation.

I consider this mental flexibility to be at the heart of personal maturity. It is also an inherent part of the American psyche to continue in growth through exploration and experimentation, using your imagination filtered by experience, education and temperament to continue attempts to succeed, regardless of obstacles. This attitude brings learning through success AND failure.

For many years, this attitude has powered American ingenuity and entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, in these days, things are far different.

There are many people, students as well as graduates, who know through personal experience that the current model is ineffective. I know, because I was one of them. I had to attend, then drop out of college to realize that I had to discover alternatives to learning. As a conservative, I highly value education and critical thinking skills. It is necessary in today’s political climate to discern truth and filter it out from lies, discern news from a mass of propaganda and recognize true education from rote learning. This is at the heart of what is called the Classical Education Movement.

Let us examine briefly the current state of America’s public school system. Exposure to a foreign language used to be a requirement for anyone desiring to attend college. Is that still true today? Rather than encouraging the use of logic and critical thought, today teachers are ‘teaching to the test’ and using indoctrination techniques. Thanks to decades of neglect and leftist political influence, students and graduates are unprepared to enter today’s job market. They are also subject to media manipulation on an immense scale.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT LEFTISTS WANT.

Leftists seem to have an aversion to logic. They are, however, possessed of an extreme cunning that superficially resembles logic. They possess great skill in manipulating media and language to gain an advantage in the political arena. Examine their procedures to obtain new legislation.

First, there is a description of the basic situation. Not in a formal, logical and reasoned setting, of course not. Instead, there is a direct appeal to the emotions, with just enough information added to provide a touch of realism. Now that your attention is engaged and passions are aroused, there is a call for direct and immediate action. No discussion is allowed as to whether this situation requires a dramatic response. No examination is made of current legislation to see if an existing law can be modified to suffice, or if federal intervention is really necessary.

If there is anything other than total enthusiastic support for their position, no matter how extreme or disruptive to the average citizen, observe what happens. Leftist spokespersons, armed with the officially approved list of talking points, flood the airwaves with an immediate attack at their perceived enemies. When have you EVER heard a leftist use words like conciliation, compromise or consensus unless phrased as a demand for someone else to do it?

In my humble opinion, leftists have deliberately placed themselves into a pre-adolescent narcissism that does not allow room for anything other than immediate fulfillment of their desires, regardless of potential consequences to themselves, anyone else or anything else.

Have you ever heard the standard leftist excuses as to why their misguided programs fail time after time? There were not the proper people in charge of the program, the law was incorrectly written, or those despicable conservatives sabotaged their program AND they are profiting from the suffering of others, which they caused in the first place.

Leftists also seem to have a deep seated fear of failure. How else can you explain all the efforts to produce an equality of outcomes, when what everyone really needs is only equality of opportunity? Leftists have been doing their best to make sure no one ever fails, but why? There are lessons to be learned from failure as well as success. What must be done is to examine the situation, extract the useful information to ensure a better outcome next time, then forget about the bad outcome.

Maturity consists in making choices and being accountable for them. There are pitfalls and hazards, to be sure, yet there is the opportunity for immense growth. To fulfill your God-given potential as a human being, you must learn, and continue to learn, your entire life. How many failure you may endure is unknown, but you will grow and learn through them. When you realize this and practice, then you will have proven that you are a conservative.


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