Must one suffer to become an adult?

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

My extended youth seemed a clueless attempt to discover the secret of adulthood, but the totality of those early experiences eventually allowed me to feel and act like a whole person. Leaving home, sex, war, job, university, drugs, mental illness, failure and general relationships away from home are just some challenges at that age not all of us survive. What do you anticipate to be, or how have you undergone, great challenge when managing emotional maturity?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I blamed school as the only problem in my life and ran away. And now I can redirect my blame to my parents. The main problem is people saying "You have no one to blame but yourself". Once you learn how to blame constructively, no guilt or regrets will cause you to be emotionally retarded like the rest of 'em. Babies seem more mature than most adults, so cheers to them.
 
  • #3
selfAdjoint
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Loren Booda said:
My extended youth seemed a clueless attempt to discover the secret of adulthood, but the totality of those early experiences eventually allowed me to feel and act like a whole person. Leaving home, sex, war, job, university, drugs, mental illness, failure and general relationships away from home are just some challenges at that age not all of us survive. What do you anticipate to be, or how have you undergone, great challenge when managing emotional maturity?

Emotional maturity never comes, we just learn to fake it better.
 
  • #4
I just cry myself to sleep at night and I'm good to go for another day!

cookiemonster
 
  • #5
Evo
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I was never a child. I didn't associate with other children my age when I was growing up because they were too immature. I was that child that was "mature beyond their years".

I was never wild and impetuous, never did anything stupid. I've always been completely grounded, so I was spared the pains of "growing up".
 
  • #6
Evo said:
I was never a child. I didn't associate with other children my age when I was growing up because they were too immature. I was that child that was "mature beyond their years".

I was never wild and impetuous, never did anything stupid. I've always been completely grounded, so I was spared the pains of "growing up".
dido, I always felt like an old timer compared to other kids.
 
  • #7
Ivan Seeking
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selfAdjoint said:
Emotional maturity never comes, we just learn to fake it better.
For me life has been like a rollercoaster. What I have learned is that whether it be the ups or the downs, nobody wants to hear about it. :biggrin:

First, I think that growing in an emotional sense is often painful. Next, as long as we live we never stop growing.
 
  • #8
Njorl
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I think the capacity to deal constructively with failure is the most important aspect of maturity. In my experience, people have this irrational idea that they can do anything if they try hard enough. They can't. For some people, myself included, the first realization of this can be quite brutal.

Maybe just as important is the capacity to deal with helplessness. There are many things in this world that you simply can not change for the better. Learning how to accept these things without them destroying the rest of your life is important.

Well, in retrospect, both of these things are bound to be painful.

Njorl
 
  • #9
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Njorl said:
Maybe just as important is the capacity to deal with helplessness. There are many things in this world that you simply can not change for the better. Learning how to accept these things without them destroying the rest of your life is important.
Want to make world peace happen? Simple, convince people that that's good. Babies get pissed because their parents are too stupid to understand how their babies talk. Then into and through an adolescence being under their parents' controll or the school's custody in loco parentis far too much of their waking moments, all the while being told they don't matter and can't change a thing as a way to maintain authority. You know you can't just win. I agree that people should be fine with not being able to change things. Not because they can't, but because other people are happy and content with their status quo.

The earlier you learn the middle finger or the words "You're stupid" the better off you are. There are just so many preconceived notions that people learn when they are young and bring into their adulthood and become more emotionally dumb for it. It's hard to be happy when you get your identity from television shows. And the way T.V. shows on wildlife make it seem especially boring is to let the picture linger on the same point five seconds after the deer jumps out of the camera's sight and during that time to play subliminal messages in the form of bird chirps.
 
  • #10
Ivan Seeking
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Njorl said:
I think the capacity to deal constructively with failure is the most important aspect of maturity. In my experience, people have this irrational idea that they can do anything if they try hard enough. They can't. For some people, myself included, the first realization of this can be quite brutal.
Okay...I'm not gonna be a rock star, not gonna be president, I am pretty sure that my chances for a Nobel Prize are diminishing, not gonna get the Bush family exiled to North Central Zimbabwe...my list goes on and on but the last one really hurts.

Maybe just as important is the capacity to deal with helplessness. There are many things in this world that you simply can not change for the better. Learning how to accept these things without them destroying the rest of your life is important.
There's the rub. Without young people risking it all simply because they don't know better where would the world be? Although now out of date, I always liked the Bumble Bee Philosophy: According to the laws of aerodynamics the bumble bee is incapable of flight. Of course the bumble bee doesn't realize this so he carries on.

I guess this come down to a question of how we know what is and is not possible. As long as I can remember my mother has been hitting with the "God grant me the wisdom to know the difference" prayer.
 
  • #11
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I don't think suffering is necessary to become a mature adult, or to become a better person. Personally, I think suffering is utterly pointless and only serves to lower one's spirits. A visit to the psych ward of your local hospital will dispel the notion that suffering is good for you.
 
  • #12
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As far as blame goes, it's just as important to NOT blame yourself when you shouldnt be blamed, as it is to blame yourself when you SHOULD be blamed. I've heard all too often "you have no one but yourself to blame" when it is quite clear if you know enough, that something isnt an individuals own fault. It's counter-productive to blame yourself for something that you didn't do. That leads to being over-hard on yourself and low self confidence, and never leads to learning from mistakes because there's nothing to learn from.
 
  • #13
Ivan Seeking
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cragwolf said:
I don't think suffering is necessary to become a mature adult, or to become a better person. Personally, I think suffering is utterly pointless and only serves to lower one's spirits. A visit to the psych ward of your local hospital will dispel the notion that suffering is good for you.
Who said it was good or the preferred choice? The question was can it be avoided. You are a rare and lucky person to have never suffered an emotional blow.

You've never even been dumped or shunned by someone that you were crazy about?
 
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  • #14
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Ivan Seeking said:
Who said it was good or the preferred choice?
I've heard many people say that suffering is good and that it is required in order to become a better person. I've heard people say that if you haven't suffered then you haven't lived. By suffered they usually mean something really serious ... not just some toothache or jilted love or a bit of loneliness ... but more like cancer, or serious depresssion or the death of a close loved one. Quite a few religions are based on either an exaltation or acceptence of suffering. But I'm not religious.

The question was can it be avoided. You are a rare and lucky person to have never suffered an emotional blow.
Yes, I've been lucky so far. I've never suffered in any serious manner. Oh, I suppose there is one exception...

You've never even been dumped or shunned by someone that you were crazy about?
No, I've never been in a position to be dumped or shunned, unfortunately. I'm pretty sure that the future will hold a lot of suffering for me, so I'm just trying to enjoy things now as best as I can. I don't think suffering will turn me into a better person. Rather, it will diminish me and my enjoyment of life.
 
  • #15
Ivan Seeking
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Well I certainly would have avoided a number of experiences in my life if given a choice, but no matter how bad something may seem at the time I find that not only do I usually learn to adjust to the disappointment, I do become a better or stronger person from the struggle. I guess the old adage that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger applies; hopefully as an extreme overstatement in most cases. :biggrin:

Look, my only real complaint about life is that it is much too short, but since an English professor once made a point of telling this to our class I guess it wouldn't be too grim to repeat her words. "If you haven't experienced a genuine crisis in your life, you will". For most of us I think this is just a part of life from time to time.
 
  • #16
Njorl
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Is maturity, in and of itself, a good thing? If it were possible for humanity to survive and thrive without individuals gaining emotional maturity, wouldn't that be just fine? If we prosper to the point that individuals can be selfish and irresponsible without ever harming others, would that be a good thing? Don't askl me how such a state of affairs could come about; I don't know.

Njorl
 
  • #17
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We think selfishness and irresponsibility are bad because they harm others. If you stuck someone inside a happy machine where he can be selfish all day long without harming anyone, that's all good and dandy. But being stuck in a happy machine is a waste of time when compared to real life. I think we're all born with an understanding of fairness. Veal is a sophisticated food. Can you imagine people becoming immature?

I think it's important to experience the world, but not all the needless and avoidable suffering we try to put everything through. Parents always want darker futures for their children.
 
  • #18
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Esperanto said:
I think it's important to experience the world, but not all the needless and avoidable suffering we try to put everything through. Parents always want darker futures for their children.
That's quite possibly the most asinine thing I've ever heard in my life. Parents never want darker futures for their children. We want our kids lives to be perfect. I don't want my daughter to be unhappy for one second of her life if possible.
I may have missed something while I was reading this thread, sorry if I did, but I get the impression you are depressed about something. The answer to the original question is no, one mustn't suffer to become adult. It just feels that way sometimes. Becoming adult comes along with the hair under the arms. The switch into thinking like an adult comes when you realize that all that suffering as a child wasn't as bad as it seemed at the time. You realize you are an adult when you wish you were a kid again.
 
  • #19
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It's just that I feel there's somewhere better than this modern world. This world is too technology-oriented and that contributes to people not understanding their environment. Many adults are little more than children themselves when they become parents. Few people get all the way through adolescence into adulthood unscathed. My assumption: 99% of the people I meet have unresolved emotional problems, especially ones about self-confidence, and all of them are brought about by bad childhood experiences given to them by people trying to force things they don't understand onto them. They don't know why they have to leave their parents and go to school when they're three or four years old, and then all the crap that follows. "Parents always want darker futures for their children". I had to make it the opposite on the extreme end for novelty value, hehe. Compare it to "Parents want brighter futures for their children" and you'll see which one is not some utterly void phrase said by zombies and as a catch phrase for advertisements. My phrase is food for thought and deserves props for being a great discovery my dyslexia stumbled over and my misunderstood misantrophe self decided to share. Anyway, I think parents want darker futures for their children simply because they are so out of touch with themselves and reality, and when they see the children happy they sneer and try enforcing proper behavior on them. Even when kids are playing on the swings and decide to explore, the parents sitting braindead on the benches staring at the wall start threatening, "Come over here RIGHT this instance or die" etc. Teachers have to do it because that's what they've been told teachers are. I think education is good, but not the prison we now call education. All the while the parents and teachers think it's their right because god gave them the authority and because they're older and the kids better respect that. Who do you think is right? Evolution or sunscreen and sunglasses advertisers? And it's good you got this impression that I'm depressed. It's called fashionable depression. It's the new cool thing for cynics and romantics we got from sad clowns. We've come here to make you smile.
 
  • #20
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Esperanto said:
Anyway, I think parents want darker futures for their children simply because they are so out of touch with themselves and reality, and when they see the children happy they sneer and try enforcing proper behavior on them. Even when kids are playing on the swings and decide to explore, the parents sitting braindead on the benches staring at the wall start threatening, "Come over here RIGHT this instance or die" etc. Teachers have to do it because that's what they've been told teachers are. I think education is good, but not the prison we now call education. All the while the parents and teachers think it's their right because god gave them the authority and because they're older and the kids better respect that. Who do you think is right? Evolution or sunscreen and sunglasses advertisers? And it's good you got this impression that I'm depressed. It's called fashionable depression. It's the new cool thing for cynics and romantics we got from sad clowns. We've come here to make you smile.
Is asininest a word? I like the word asinine, but it doesn't seem to convey the amazing asininosity of your statement. If your childhood was like that you do have reason to be depressed. In a normal, healthy childhood kids are loved by their parents and their parents only want what is good for their children. I have never been given the choice to 'do something or die' and if I was told to "Come over here RIGHT this instance" it was only to protect me. Maybe there was no danger only a percieved or potential threat, but it was still to protect me. Parents love their kids in my world. If your parents don't, tell them to come talk to me and I'll set them straight. If they won't listen I'll give them some of their own medicine. In fact, send any abusive adult over and I'll make sure they know what it's like to be abused.
 
  • #21
CPS, anyone...?

Is your primary complaint with the US education system, Esperanto? Particularly that you believe it's pushing you to be something you're not?

cookiemonster
 
  • #22
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I see parents and teachers saying and doing things to children without giving a thought as to what they're doing. Sometimes I think it's that they're just trying to reenact a scene they've seen in television. A recent scene of parent stupidity I can't get out of my head was at the library. A girl was looking at fiction books. A short while later the mother comes and says, "You are supposed to be researching your project, not looking at fantasy books." Set her priorities straight. Schizos like me may participate in ad hominem. And might I add, she looked scary, and her daughter looked paralyzed. Then mommy dragged the daughter away to research her project.

What's CPS? No, the US educational system is not my main concern. I'm trying to say that our childhood experiences are painful memories when we are older because of the unthoughtful actions of others. I don't care if school wants me to be something I'm not. And that seems offtopic. Screw schools. I have enough reason to believe without school contributing that many adults are not suitable to be parents or to do what parents do. Love is great but what does it mean when parents don't give a second thought when they're feeding their children cow milk? Not saying cow milk is bad for infants, just people don't like to think. Suffering is a human thing. Show me a non-domesticated squirrel who's suffering and I'll perform a nonlethal act of violence on someone of your choice.

I despise the word asinine, tribdog. Sounds too much like canine and I think you're trying to compliment me.
 
  • #23
So you possess the opinion that parents must be perfect people.

And what's wrong with making your child do a research project instead of entertaining herself?

I don't think being made to do a research project would be painful. Unpleasant, perhaps. But then, if I didn't do it, I'd have to stand up in front of the class and say I didn't do it, which would be unpleasant as well.

"Show me a non-domesticated squirrel who's suffering and I'll perform a nonlethal act of violence on someone of your choice." What's this supposed to mean?

And CPS is child protection services. Takes kids away from abusive parents, which yours really sound like they must have been.

cookiemonster
 
  • #24
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Esperanto said:
I despise the word asinine, tribdog. Sounds too much like canine and I think you're trying to compliment me.
Then you probably should have been doing research while you were in the library as well. No I am not trying to compliment you. Asinine may sound like canine to you but the first sound of the word is what I think of when I hear it. More specifically I think of what comes out of an a-word. In other words what I said was I thought your comment was crap.
 
  • #25
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No, I did not say I think parents have to be perfect people. That's not what I meant when I was talking about the mother and daughter at the library.

I know what asinine means, I don't like it that you feel compelled to say you like the word.
 

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