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/ Expo / Digital art create more, consume less

Digital art create more, consume less

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The problem is, in the absence of these old markers of maturity, guys don’t know how to transition from boys to men. They may not find the marriage/kids/corporate job gig appealing, but they also aren’t keen on remaining a perpetual adolescent.
Shindiri Studio on September 28, 2013 - 1:52 am in Expo

After doing the podcast on the “Modern Immaturity” a few months ago, and reading the comments left on that post, I got to thinking about this question: “What makes a man mature anyway?”

These days those kinds of markers are being put off more and more. There are a variety of reasons for this, some cultural, some economic. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this trend. While I’m a proponent of working hard at your job and getting hitched to the right woman once you know she’s the one, these things simply don’t happen at the same time for every man. And while I personally believe that getting married and having kids is one of the most effective ways to grow and mature as a man, I’m not comfortable saying that men who don’t do these things aren’t mature men. Otherwise, you’re stuck with the position that men who are Catholic priests or Buddhist monks aren’t mature men. If you believe that, you need to go say ten Hail Mary’s and then rejoin this discussion.

The problem is, in the absence of these old markers of maturity, guys don’t know how to transition from boys to men. They may not find the marriage/kids/corporate job gig appealing, but they also aren’t keen on remaining a perpetual adolescent. They feel stuck between these two guideposts-no longer boys but not yet “settled down”-and don’t see any models on how to proceed. The gap has become a life stage wasteland for men, where guys are drifting along like amoebas.

Boys are consumers. When they’re young, their parents set up their experiences for them; their only job is to sit back and enjoy it. They live in their parents’ house, eat their parents’ food, and use their parents’ stuff. Their free time in used in amusement. They consume their parents’ resources and are passive and taken care of. They make little to no impact on the world and have little ownership of their lives. They are dependent.

The problem is that men aren’t outgrowing this passive role. Instead of creating, they go on consuming. They may not depend on Mom and Dad anymore (although sadly, they often do), but they’re still dependent on stuff for their happiness. Consuming clothes, movies, video games, cars, parties, fast food, and even travel to make them happy. They live only for their own pleasures and amusements. But it is boys that live only for themselves; men fully enjoy life’s pleasure but also live for a higher purpose. Boys try to find themselves in what they buy; men find themselves in what they do. Boys base their identity on what they consume; men base their identity on what they create. The failure of men to transition from being shoppers and consumers to producers and creators has four profound implications for the vibrancy of manliness.

Boys are consumers. When they’re young, their parents set up their experiences for them; their only job is to sit back and enjoy it. They live in their parents’ house, eat their parents’ food, and use their parents’ stuff. Their free time in used in amusement. They consume their parents’ resources and are passive and taken care of. They make little to no impact on the world and have little ownership of their lives. They are dependent.

The problem is that men aren’t outgrowing this passive role. Instead of creating, they go on consuming. They may not depend on Mom and Dad anymore (although sadly, they often do), but they’re still dependent on stuff for their happiness. Consuming clothes, movies, video games, cars, parties, fast food, and even travel to make them happy. They live only for their own pleasures and amusements. But it is boys that live only for themselves; men fully enjoy life’s pleasure but also live for a higher purpose. Boys try to find themselves in what they buy; men find themselves in what they do. Boys base their identity on what they consume; men base their identity on what they create. The failure of men to transition from being shoppers and consumers to producers and creators has four profound implications for the vibrancy of manliness.

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