Friday, July 31, 2009

Who Is In Charge

I read a bulletin board which is mostly dedicated to discussing the many formerly great palaces of Russia, as well as the Russian imperial family, but also discusses other former and current royal families. I have mentioned before that I am interested in Victorian and Edwardian history and dress, and that I like to read about and look at pictures of the royal families of that time period. However, I do occasionally read about modern royal families too, and so I came upon this quote: "Am not impressed by either William or Harry (British heir to the throne and his younger brother-BTEG) but (as the mother of a 26 year old son myself) I know just what a terrible culture of cheap and freely available alcohol can do. Here in the Uk (I don't know about the US where I thought the law was far more stringent), the Government just will not address what is an extremely serious issue."

First of all, I think this speaks to how modern culture is putting off growing up for longer and longer periods. This woman's son is 26, yet his mother seems to still be worried about his alcoholic escapades, just as the two princes and other members of the upper class in Britain are often photographed in the wee hours of the morning leaving bars or pubs or whatever, in various stages of inebriation. While I see nothing wrong with drinking alcohol in moderation, repeated drunken binges speak to a desire to keep acting irresponsibly, instead of in a more adult manner.

Her concerns about circumstances in Great Britain contributing to this culture are reflected here by the chief constable of the Cheshire police, who says: "Alcohol is too cheap and too readily available and is too strong. Young people cannot handle it." I'd like to know why young people in particular cannot handle alcohol, at least in moderation. Young adults are perfectly capable of the maturity required to do this; whether they are encouraged to be mature is another issue.

Although written in 2005, this writer also points at the culture as a reason for outrageous behavior fueled by alcohol. "The relentless expansion of the student scene has resulted in a section of young society that has disposable income gained from disposable jobs, and little to do with their time. The rise of singleton society and the falling birth rate have contributed to the erosion of domestic life - your thirtysomethings getting drunk all night with their colleagues don't have homes to go to, so they stay in the pub." While they may not have siblings, shouldn't people in their thirties have spouses and children to go home to? Again we see a lack of desire to grow up and take on the responsibilities of marriage and children. Prince William is a great example of this. In his late twenties, having dated one woman (on and off) for what I believe to be about five years, why on earth shouldn't he be ready to marry? If this woman is not who he wants to spend the rest of his life with, surely he ought to have figured that out by now. Either he doesn't want the responsibilities of marriage, or he does not want to marry this woman and is just hanging on for the monogamous sex which is less likely to lead to disease or his face splashed across the tabloids like Hugh Grant.

My last question is, why can't the culture be countered? Is it too easy for me, a person who has a faith and a large support group of fellow believers to fall back on, to avoid cultural traps? While Christians certainly do sin and have temptations like everyone else, one of the fruits of the Spirit *is* self-control. We have a built-in counter-culture, as opposed to the mother in the first quote, who seems to see her son as a helpless culture victim, from which only the Government can save him. Especially as parents, let us train our children and model our lives based on what we know is right, not on what the world tells us is cool. Let's promote personal responsibility.


Anonymous said...

Excellent points; you've earned that Evil Genius title! ;)
This is why all of my friends are older than me; when I married at 22 and started having babies, my former classmates were mostly still out partying. Sad.

Laura said...

Great post, Barb. The deferral of "adulthood" is a thought-provoking issue.

I was married at 21 (days before turning 22) and had my first child at 26. That now seems shockingly young to some folks...

I imagine Prince William is scared to repeat his parents' marriage which disintegrated so publicly, but you're right...if he's not ready to marry at 27, after all these years with the same girlfriend, he should cut the poor girl loose...and for her part, she should move on.

Best wishes,

Pauli said...

Hear, hear. The denial of the ability for men and women--esp. men--to control themselves is the sanctamonious justification for many government power grabs.