Why is it so difficult today for an adult to become aware their age? Why, compared to the past, beyond a certain age, one of people’s priorities seems to become feeling young, seem eternally young, communicate through a language that hides maturity, in the name of a complicity with an age group we no longer belong to?
What meaning should we endow with the continuous advertising and quest for aesthetics and the “reconstruction” of a body that wants to tell a story, a life that is flowing, for the better or worse?
We are in a constant search of natural things, buy organic products, run after fashions whose dangerous goal is to get to know how to control natural, physical, psychological, and spiritual energies (esoterism!), Then we fall into this contradiction, which is almost ridiculous. We want to “change” what Mother Nature transforms with inexorable punctuality, changing the naturalness we search in things, but not in our way of being.
Shallowness, immaturity, fear of death? No, it is simply the negation of a reality that we want to change because we want to feel masters of an existence that we claim our own. When the man of the second millennium has changed the course of knowledge and progress towards unnatural goals, pretending that they lead to happiness, freedom, or as a response to false needs, he has chosen the path to self-destruction.
But all this does not concern only our search for well-being: denial of our adulthood for eternal youth means paying a high a price also in social terms. One of the immediate consequences of this absence of adults in today’s society is the lack of value models needed for the healthy and balanced growth of our youth. Many parents, for example, can be defined ‘eternal Peter Pans’, completely absent in their parental role and in more complex cases, even competitive against their own children. Even the age of procreation has risen and not only for contingent reasons; the choice of a larger “family” under the guise of incompatibility is weakening the design value of life itself, and so many young people do not know the word future. They only hear words like insecurity, hopelessness, lack of a future.
But where can we find the cause of this existential failure? In the pure exaltation of their own pleasure, even up to the delirium of omnipotence that excludes everything that calls for the existence of God. The third millennium adult has even claimed the illusion of being able to subvert natural balances, including our identity as male and female, claiming the power that “feeling” like a man or a woman should be given back to the individual, no longer a person, who has to get rid of any simply cultural imposition.
We must become aware of the seriousness of these times. Only re-education to the beauty of Created, which includes also the meaning and value of life in all its stages, can give new meaning. If adults do not return to the youth their age group as an evolutionary stage, that is, built thanks to significant figures simply aware of the natural process of life, marveling before events such as suicide, violence, excesses of all kinds manifested by our youth will be vain, hypocritical, and immoral. From 2010 to 2020, the Catholic world has organized the decade of the educational challenge, where each agency had to become a “civil party” for the reconstruction of values of our country against this galloping emergency.
But I keep affirming that the family, the school, the territory we live in, is made of adults who are at least “distracted” today, and that for a true anthropological healing we must return to the value of the individual, unique and unrepeatable, reaffirming its primacy and beauty against a diabolical denial of the value of life. Hence, we need to re-educate the heart and the spirit of man, more conscious of their vocation as a father, mother, teacher, educator, young or adult.
In the case of the pastoral project, there are only a few years left to run and we hope to arrive at the conclusion of this path with positive results, finding at least the still missing adulthood. Pope Francis says in his Encyclical Praised Be: ” Authentic human development has a moral character. It presumes full respect for the human person, but it must also be concerned for the world around us and “take into account the nature of each being and of its mutual connection in an ordered system.” Accordingly, our human ability to transform reality must proceed in line with God’s original gift of all that is… Our efforts at education will be inadequate and ineffectual unless we strive to promote a new way of thinking about human beings, life, society and our relationship with nature. Otherwise, the paradigm of consumerism will continue to advance, with the help of the media and the highly effective workings of the market.”
Humanity is so hurt and perhaps it is still unaware of being sick. It has to find the right specialist in the figure of the Constructor who knows every part and every stage of this special creature, man. We will find, thus, the adulthood that actually means to live the time of awareness that everything passes and must pass, but only God remains, searching in Him the meaning of our existence. Spiritual good, our natural interlocutor, because we are in His image, royal elixir for the true eternal youth.