COMING OF AGE IN AMERICA

The man who craves renewal at mid-life cannot count on much help from society. For the most part he will have to work through this crisis period alone, and to do so he will have to struggle to overcome in himself many of the beliefs he shares with the culture in which he lives.

This is a shame. It is imperative that we as a society not only recognize and acknowledge the existence of the mid-life crisis and other adult transitional periods, but that we also give full support to the development of the human potential. We should do so not only to enlarge our culture’s view of the life cycle, but also to bring it more in accord with the actual rhythms of individual lives. As things stand now, our society is set up to maximize wealth and power rather than human fulfillment. It is time for a transformation of values, a change in vision.

Today it is becoming increasingly apparent that our materialistic, competitive way of life is causing human obsolescence. With our emphasis on commercial values we have adopted a mechanistic view of people. We prize them when they are productive, discard them when they are not. To be old in America is to be discounted and discredited. To be old is to be powerless and isolated. By denying the elderly an opportunity to participate in our society we strip them of their humanity, deprive them of their dignity, and in the process we amputate our own life span.

These inhuman values and attitudes are also hard on men in their middle years. Responsible for both the old and the young, they bear a heavy emotional and financial burden. Some try to escape these overwhelming responsibilities by drinking excessively or dropping out or simply disappearing.

Others drop dead from too much stress. Many men who would like to alter their style of life, shift directions, or change careers lack the financial resources to do so. Others, unable to find social sanction for such undertakings, are afraid of the risks that such a change might entail. So they plod on in the same stultifying routine with nothing to stimulate them, nothing to look forward to.

Burned out or bored or disillusioned by the time they reach their forties, these are the men who become alcoholics, who sabotage their corporations by absenteeism or shoddy work. Alienated and discontent, they are of little value to the organization, to society, or to themselves. They have become victims of psychological pollution, the industrial fallout that results when a society values profits more than people.

To prevent such disasters, to preserve our human resources, fundamental changes are needed. In this increasingly complex technological era, it is urgent that we find ways in which the separate needs of the individual and the organization can be combined into a common cause so that both can grow and change with purpose. We must reorganize our society and our institutions to make them more responsive to human needs. We must develop a society that is structured in such a way that people can continue to develop, to find hope and meaning, throughout their lives. This is an enormous undertaking but an essential one.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2009 at 11:42 am and is filed under Men's Health-Erectile Dysfunction. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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