victorian boys

I’ve met many people in my life who were beaten and belittled too much as children.  They were given too much punishment, too much structure, too little validation, such that the development of their personalities was stunted.  Such people often go through life believing they’re unworthy, doubting and sabotaging themselves, putting themselves last.  They are too humble for their own good.

This is the result of an excess of authority.

And I have also become acquainted with an opposite type of problem:  I have met many, many people who I’ve come to believe weren’t beaten enough.  Spoiled, whiny, narcissistic brats who’ve never had to work for anything, who’ve never had proper boundaries set for them, who’ve had no serious consequences for their bad behavior as kids, and they consequently were wild or tyrannical children, and remained undomesticated and unruly into adulthood.  They are not humble enough.

This is the result of an absence of authority.

For the over-beaten kids, it was usually too much dad.  For the under-beaten kids, it was usually too much mom.

Children raised in excessive authority often contribute more than their share and carry others.  Children raised with insufficient authority often under-contribute and are a burden to others.

Somewhere, between these extremes, is health: a harmony between mom and dad, between soft and unyielding.  Enough structure, enough authority to teach respect, and yet safety and space within that container so the individual has room to develop.

Those who spoil their kids are over-nurturers.  They believe in honoring everything their child says or feels.  They indulge their kids’ every whim, and these kids often turn into narcissistic, tyrannical assholes.

Or the parents are just absent, and let the kids raise themselves in chaos.  The net result is the same:  formless, useless, entitled, whiny adults.

Everyone needs an ass-kicking.  Everyone needs a humbling, physically exhausting experience.  Not necessarily a violent one, but most certainly a visceral one.  All people need to be physically challenged and overwhelmed from time to time.  This is a critical nutrient for all human beings.  The whole person cannot develop in the absence of it.  If you do not partake in this vital, essential element, you remain a formless larva and are most likely a burden to those around you.

It is my observation and strong belief that there is an epidemic of spoiled, over-nurtured, under-worked, useless, narcissistic kids, and the asshole adults they’ve turned into, in America today.  It has reached epidemic proportions.  It is a cancer that could kill our society.  It is a cancer caused by neglect, neglect of the vital needs of our young people.  It is caused by an over-nurturing, under-demanding authority, at all levels, from our families all the way up to our federal government.

It is a sickness of wealth, an affliction of the powerful.  It is our success, followed by a lack of vigilance, that got us here.  We are over-feminized, sick, lazy, and vulnerable.