Adolescence is that period of temporary insanity every human being has to deal with before they reach full maturity, as if we are butterflies that emerge from a hermetically sealed cocoon into a hurricane. Recently, thanks to the decay in the Filial system, adulthood has become a further extension of a similar insanity.
The High School and the Undergraduate university are partners in crime, being the only institutions in mainstream society that have anything to do with treating this madness. Unfortunately, they try to educate the adolescent past the madness. They don’t try to reconcile the patients with the sickness, but rather deny its existence completely and feed them bookish knowledge in the hope that it will cure the madness.
There is an inherent flaw in that. The method is as insane as the insanity it tries to cure. The mad adolescent is the least receptive to any sort of learning because he is so self-assured that his delusions are real. The only other possibility is that these institutions do not even try to address the issues that pertain to the psychosis of adolescence. If this is true, the system needs a major overhaul.
Even if it is true, there lies hope in one of the most priceless institutions of life itself. Family. It is the institution from which we are born and is the institution from which we truly emerge when about twenty years or so have passed in our confused, conceited existences.
The fundamental component in the psychosis of modern adolescence is a need to distance ourselves from family. That urge to disconnect is the most irrational of all of its symptoms, but one that seems all too sane in those foolish moments. While experiencing that wild instinctual need to leave the nest and find greener pastures on our own, we fail to realize that in the midst of an absurd world, family is the only thing that will ever make any sense at all.
After the teenage years are so much dust in the rear-view mirror, we begin to reconnect with our parents as we begin to understand them. This does not happen because we get older and wiser. Wisdom is just a consequence of a greater impetus. That impetus is Genetics.
Adolescence ends when we begin to exhibit so many of the same habits that our parents do. The tendencies we share with our parents bring us closer to them. The same habits that once seemed so abrasive and annoying help us understand what our parents are thinking when they do those things. It tells us why they did these things all along, because they have the same rationale as to why we do them ourselves.
And somehow, that makes it infinitely more tolerable when we do them ourselves.
I used to be impatient and irritated when my dad picked up random trash on the road and took extra time out of his day to deposit it in the appropriate receptacle. I was embarrassed about it because I never saw anyone else doing it. Now, when I see carelessly thrown trash on the road, I feel that same great sense of injustice and cannot help but deal with it the same way that my dad did.
The old tempers of my mother are so much more justified when my own temper flares in the same way, for the very same reasons. She carries the same monsters in her Id as I do.
If adulthood is the longer insanity, then it’s alright because our parents are insane in that same way too. And as our family, they are the only ones who will unconditionally understand that insanity when it manifests in us. Our teenage friends, girlfriends and boyfriends never will. They have the choice to abandon us. It takes two decades of searching for something and someone to identify with to figure out that our parents are what we are looking for.
So, you teenagers, every time you yell at your parents, “You will never understand,” you should remember that they do. You are born of their seed. They can see how you are like them long before you can reciprocate that understanding.
When we find that same kind of forgiveness within ourselves, we become capable of forgiving this unforgiving society its trespasses. Most of our anti-authoritarianism and rebellion fades when we find it. If we misjudged our parents so much, perhaps we can let everyone else be as they are before we misjudge them too.
If nothing else, we can at the very least thank our families for curing us of one insanity in an insane world.