Teens Should Be Thinking About Mid Life
HT: Home Front
As you read the first half of this article you might be thinking, "Why in the world is Brett having me read about mid life crisis?!?" but once you read the second half you should see why this is such a vitally important message for teens. Here's a hint: It has to do with the idea of "building your character house."
by Chris Gonzalez
Originally posted January 5th, 2006
You can’t fake it forever. Every part of you so deeply hidden, so franticly avoided, so fiercely ignored will emerge into the light of day for everyone to see. Maybe it comes during adolescence, or perhaps it comes out in marriage. Some have this experience when the kids arrive. However, a great many people experience it during mid life.
Ah yes, you can see him in your mind right now. He’s the stereotyipical 40-something, baseball cap-wearing, head-balding, convertible-driving, gotee-sporting, Mount Kilaminjaro-climbing, I-can-do-what-I-want-because-I’m-mad-and-I’m-not-going-to-take-it-anymore male.
Mid life is a curious stage. With mid life comes deeper insight into age. With mid life comes the awareness of one’s own mortality. The knees crack, the back is sore, and there is a faint ringing in the ears. Hair that once grew on the head now grows on the ears; an unusual follicle migration has occured. People grow heavier, but not taller. They can remember 30 years ago, but not yesterday. The adolescent sprint has become a middle aged long-distance run. Words like arthritis and old suddenly mean something and can be applied to oneself. People in mid life start to wonder if there is enough time to do everything they want to get done. The road behind is longer than the road ahead. The kids (now bigger, stronger, faster, and smarter than they are) are ready to vacate the nest, or might even be gone. The choices of the past have narrowed the options for the future. Weeks fly by faster than single days used to and is it already 2006?
In short, with mid life comes the realization that everyone dies and you are closing in on it.
So, mid life comes in with its awareness and realization and drives people into a neo-adolescent pattern of crazed self-destruction. Or does it? Does the onset of mid life produce this apparent temporary insanity? Could it be that there was a pre-existing, ever-present, and ongoing insanity that has finally found an outlet for itself in mid life?
Rather than mid life causing this lunacy, maybe it only exposes it. Think about it. Mid life moves a person into undeniable truths about life, aging, and death. Can a shallow person maintain his ruse with such wisdom, depth, and meaning pressing itself into his aura? How long can a person trifle along in life and get away with it?
For the person of depth, on the other hand, mid life is a welcome stage. Rather than trying to be not old, these solid and grounded people embrace the opportunities that age brings with it. A generous and benevolent spirit grows within them, realzing that the self-indulgent and superficial life they were never comfortable with anyway was a waste of time, just like they always thought it was. So, in response to the realization that the clock is ticking, they use their position and resources to pass on wisdom and values to the next generation.
How long can a person trifle along in life and get away with it?
What is really happening with these deep people is the same thing that happens with the shallow people – their true self is revealed. So, mid life is only a crisis for the people who have accumulated a pile of life experiences that have shaped their character into something regrettable. Mid life is a meaningful and eagerly anticipated transition for the people who have accumulated a pile of life experiences that have shaped their character into somehing honorable.
Like I said, you can’t fake it forever. So, when the big reveal comes, make sure you’ve lived a life you don’t mind the world seeing.
"Mid life is only a crisis for the people who have accumulated a pile of life experiences that have shaped their character into something regrettable. Mid life is a meaningful and eagerly anticipated transition for the people who have accumulated a pile of life experiences that have shaped their character into somehing honorable."
DISCLAIMER: Mr. Gonzalez (the author of the article you just read) is a Christian man in his mid-thirties. His article was originally written as a newspaper column in a secular newspaper. This explains why there are no overt references to God, Christ, grace, salvation, sanctification, or an eternal perspective.
How are we preparing right now for our mid life?
For that reason we encourage our readers, if they haven't already, to read our post "Rebelutionary, Meet Your Commander-In-Chief" which outlines the great importance of Christ in the fight for character. Also, the previous two posts on "Hard Things Take Character" also emphasize the Christian roots of character, please take advantage of them as well.