First, let's look at the latest "setting the bar low" cultural move.
Perhaps you thought it was a bit much to move the age to have a beer to 21 from the legal adult age of 18. Perhaps you thought it was insane to allow young adults to stay on their parent's insurance until age 26, an age many people have two kids of their own.
Chew on this from Dana Goldstein at The New Republic;
...some advocates and policymakers are citing research to argue 18 is still too young, and that people up to the age of 25 remain less than fully grown up.You can read the rest.
Researchers are using the term “post-adolescence” or “extended adolescence” to describe this period of development in one’s twenties and early thirties. Social change is as important as biological change in understanding why some people in this age group are drawn to crime. Individuals who are “disconnected”—neither working nor in school—are more likely to get in trouble with the law. While fewer young women are disconnected today than in previous decades, the opposite is true for young men.
This isn't just about criminal justice either;
Adolescence no longer ends when people hit 18, according to updated guidelines being given to child psychologists.
The new directive is designed to extend the age range that child psychologists can work with from 18 years old up to 25.
In the name of all that is holy, we know this. My brain didn't make the flip until age 23 - but it didn't mean I was in "late adolescence" and should be treated like a child. If we are going to go down this route then fine; no one can vote until 25.
It is hoped the initiative will stop children being 'rushed' through their childhood and feeling pressured to achieve key milestones quickly, reports the BBC.
Actually, I might support that ... but let's get back on centerline.
OK, here is a thought; perhaps the problem with our young men (which you will find in the linked article) today is that we do not challenge them enough. We do not demand enough of them.
Anyone who has served in the military knows that young men and women can do incredible things. You can give them the highest responsibilities. Properly led and given clear guidance, there is no limit. Every day, you put your life in the hands of 18 and 19 year old people.
The concept is rather simple. Set an expectation; provide training and guidance. Provide fair and just consequences for their response to it, good or bad. Good things happen.
In a previous age where people developed later, had poorer education and health; what did we expect from them? How did they perform?
Let's look at James Lucas Yeo, born 1782;
...he joined the Royal Navy in March 1793 as a boy volunteer. ... as a midshipman at the age of 10.Look at your calendar. He was promoted to lieutenant at age 15 and was already in combat.
In 1797, he was promoted lieutenant, and assigned to the HMS La Loire... He first saw action as a lieutenant aboard a brig in the Adriatic Sea.
He distinguished himself during the siege of Cesenatico in 1800.At age 18. This was not a one-off performance. Remember, he was leading men more than twice his age in ship's company, most likely.
While off the Spanish coast, he was sent to capture the Spanish vessels in the port of El Muros. Storming the fort, he succeeded in bringing out of the port every vessel, armed and unarmed. For this achievement, he was made commander, and given the HMS Confiance, one of the vessels he had taken.When did he do this? 1805. Age 22.
Yeo participated in several sea battles during the Napoleonic Wars so successfully that he was made a captain on December 19, 1807, by which time he had already been recognized as an intrepid practitioner of unconventional sea warfare.Age? 24.
In 1809, he captured Cayenne, in conjunction with the Portuguese, and was in consequence made post-captain.Age 26.
There is more; read it all.
Young men and women do not need excuses. They don't need years of medication to make up for a lifetime of weak parenting. They don't need low standards they are encouraged to meet.
Our nation and our civilization cannot prosper if we allow people to spend the balance of their most productive years - when they have the best window to think, explore, and test their physical and intellectual boundaries - to be told they are not yet adults and are not capable of agency. No, just the opposite.
I've got news for those who think they can start their life like this, by age 26, if you are only now thinking you are ready to be an adult, you are already running behind. As Mr. Waters says; "Ten years have got behind you. No one told you when to run. You missed the starting gun."
Your peers have a half decade+ head start on you.
Wonder why so many people (Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, Cobain, Hank Williams) kill themselves between the ages of 27 and 30? It is because they all of a sudden look around and realize that they have gone nowhere in their 20s but in circles. Others have moved on with their lives, and yet they can't seem to drink and drug themselves out of a rut they hit at 22. They all of a sudden realize that they need to be an adult, and they can't do it. They were drifting in the Land of the Lotus Eaters by other people who gained from having them get stuck in a rut for half a decade. When they age out of the profit zone, they are thrown in to a reality of the late-20s to early 30s that they simply cannot adjust to.
No one ever is going to be Fullbore by claiming, "I'm just not mentally mature." Sorry, regardless what your doctor may tell you, the world doesn't care.
By 16 you should be prepared to be 18, an adult.
By 25, you should be helping those 16 to 18 to be an adult - by your example.
If you find yourself at 25 trying to map it out, you're lost. It isn't the fault of biology. Not your parents. Not society.
It is all on you.
Hat tip BJ.