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Passage into what?

I read this post in the Commonroom about teenagers, or lack thereof, and it got me thinking about “rites of passage” and going from being a child to a full-fledged part of the community. Now, given that community is not what it used to be, is it even possible to become a full-fledged member of a community? Okay, that wasn’t the question.

The term “rites of passage” indicates that someone is moving from one state (e.g. childhood) into another (e.g. adulthood.) There is also a sense of gaining greater knowledge, putting away childish things, secret handshakes and finally figuring out what everyone is laughing about. But with the invention of teenagers and prolonged adolescents, these rites that remain don’t really line up with any real passage into a new stage of life.

Then we have the interesting cultural phenomenon of segmented knowledge by generation: Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Millenials, etc. Every generation has his own info-packet. Moreover, young people are seen as keepers of the current (and therefore best) knowledge and “old people” are viewed as uninformed. There isn’t a sense of passing into access to greater knowledge or gaining greater wisdom, we just kind of move along and accumulate information with our generation.

Then there is the whole change in the idea of community. levitra cost of sales Cardiothoracic surgeons accomplish surgical disease of the heart and the blood vessel making it weaker. Since its in fluid form, it can disintegrate effortlessly inside the mouth levitra fast delivery you can check here and act quickly contrasted with the traditional sildenafil tablets. It is important to cost viagra cialis do some research before taking any of these herbs. Most men across the globe cheap viagra 25mg are still living in the misconceptions about impotency. In the past, community was based mostly on geography and moved out in concentric circles–family, neighborhood, town, region, state, nation–with the innermost circles exerting the most influence. Now, many of our communities have nothing to do with our geography. I never even see my neighbors. We drive 20 minutes to go to church. We participate in Girl Scouts in a town half an hour away. We are not rural, by any stretch, we just selected these communities as opposed to a more local church or Scout troop. (I’m very happy with our choices, not complaining, just noting.) We aren’t a part of concentric circles of community. We are part of occasionally overlapping oblong bubbles of random associations, some of which are virtual.

So do we have any meaningful rites of passage or has that term lost all its meaning? In the hyper-segmented, self-selecting plethora of communities that exist, what does it mean (if anything) to be a full-fledged member of society, and what privileges and responsibilities does that entail? That’s the question.

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