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Episode 14 · 2 years ago

Episode 14 Jerry Piven on Child Development

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How do the complexities of child development help us understand what is happening to ourselves and our culture? This episode discusses the vital role child rearing plays in individual human life and more broadly in our society. www.thehubforimportantideas.com

How do the complexities of child development help us understand what is happening to ourselves and to our culture? Welcome to the hub for important ideas. I'm Steve James and I'm Ken Swain. In this episode we discussed the vital role child rearing plays in individual human life and, more broadly, in our society. Those are the two themes. We often come back to individual psychology and social psychology. What is important to know about ourselves and what is equally important to understand about our culture at large? My focus is often on the individual self. Knowledge is key to a happy life. I completely agree, and as a cultural critic, my focus has usually been on what I call our toxic culture. But the mental health of individuals is a synergetic issue that has to be considered when we think about our culture. Okay, we're going to play for you another interview we conducted with Doctor Jerry piven. Doctor piven teaches in the Department of Philosophy at Rutger's university. Three of his most notable books are slaughtering death, on the psychoanalysis of terror, religion and violence, the psychology of death in fantasy and history, and death and delusion, a Freudian analysis of mortal terror. He has published over fifty papers in the past decade and he is currently working on a book to be titled Pious Massacre, Literary Violence from Dust Iv ski to Mishima, and an edited collection called death, religion and evil. Here's the interview with Dr Piven. Dr Piven, welcome to perspective. Thank you, Jerry. The heart of Becker's theories deals with the psychological results of our repression of our fear of death. How early does this repression of fear of death start in a person's life? Well, some people might say that it begins with the trauma of birth, and some would say that children don't even know what death is until they're several years old, and even if they do have some abstract sense of what it is, because their parents might have told them, they don't fully understand what death is. In fact, young children may know that things die. They might have seen a relative die or they may have a lost a pet or something to this effect, but they stay they have the fantasy that the pet may come back to life, that the cat will come back, or even that the father will come back, or something to this effect. So the typical response is that the fear of death develops in stages and at a certain point there's far more concrete way of understanding death, the ability to understand things not only abstractly, but to fully, really be recognize the death is the cessation of life, that there is no such thing as the return of a dead creature and the...

...things will rotten molder in the grave and that worms will be consuming their brains in this is a horrifying thought. Now, this being said, we could interpret death in a slightly different way. If we're going to be back carrying about this. Becker is going to tell us that the fear of death is inculcated in infancy, and not just through instruction but from the fact that children feel extremely vulnerable and helpless early in life. Now, this does not mean that the fear of death for children of one or two or three years old must be a philosophical conception or that the child must really even understand it concretely. What it means is that the child is so frail and vulnerable that it can be terrified with being killed, terrified with annihilation, very early in life, even if it doesn't understand death as in it's such a complicated way that an adult might. So here it is for Becker. We're born into this world very incomplete. In fact, some anthropologists might coin the term the Antony. We're born prematurely, we're born incomplete, we're not fully formed. In fact, if we were born fully developed, than we would kill our mothers because our brains are too big and our shoulders would would ripp her apart. So we're born in an extremely vulnerable, incomplete state and we have this complex neural net for a brain which is subject both to incredible programming, because we have these cerebrums, but also therefore susceptible to any number of injurious influences where that vulnerable physically and emotionally, so that the child comes into this world in such a state of helplessness that, from an evolutionary perspective, from a biological perspective, it needs the caretake, not just physiological caretaking, but the attention, the love, the nurturance of parents in order to develop psychologically as well. Darwin talkd about this and some of his work. Yeah, Darwin talks about it, but it is more recently that anthropology and psychologists are talking about the autony. Are Being born prematurely in is a state of a being complete. And again, for most psychologists, the fear of death, especially psychoanalyst, the fear of death is never an issue, and so it isn't even discussed among them in terms of the fear of death and childhood right, because again they can't really understand it in a complex way. So Becker's perspective on this is unusual because he's talking not just about the fear of death as adults have it, but on I elation anxieties. Now, these annihilation anxieties can be the product of parents who might scare their children or beat their children convince the child that the child's life is threatened. Right, children can do all sorts of things to terrify a child. But backers point is fascinating here because he's drawing on Norman Brown's idea of the edible project ject and the edible project is not about, in a Freudian sense, the desire to possess or have sex with the mother and kill the father. The edible project is about the...

...child trying to be a master of its own fate, that the child is in this incredible state of helplessness and vulnerability and this is extremely frustrating and terrifying for the child. So the child is going to try to overcome this sense of vulnerability not only by controlling its environment, not only in trying to control its body, its sphincters, the environment around it, but the person the child developing child will fantasize or hallucinate a sense of narcissistic inflation in Norman Brown's terms. In other words, children will learn to lie to themselves about how important they are in the universe, who they control, what is at stake in their lives, in their power. They will, according to this view, fantasize themselves into a state of invulnerability or more power, more significance, more importance than they would in reality have. So let me let me lay it out for you just a little bit. Okay, sure, when we're born, we again are in this state of frailty and helplessness. We experience well may be called separation anxieties. This is what the analysts are going to call it. Separation, individuation difficulties. On the one hand, were terrified if mother walks out of the room, at least early enough in life. We're terrified of being abandoned, some might say, some analyst might say, we're even afraid of disintegrating or leaking or falling into nothingness, and our mothers are there to protect us and we're terrified without her. So in this sense, separation is an experience of potential annihilation and death. Were terrified of separating because this is a real threat to the core of our of our being, and what we have to do as children is sort of navigate separation in such a way that it feels healthy and safe to go on our own. So we will gradually migrate in a circumference away from the parent and hopefully feel safe in doing so. On the other hand, even though we, under optimal conditions, will internalize enough love and nurturance to feel that separating is safe, we also have this sense that merger with the mother is also potentially annihilating. In this is a fascinating paradox. If separation can be death, merger with the mother can also be death, because children want to be independent, at least to some degree, and at a certain point the mother can become potentially smothering creature that to depend on the mother is evidence that the child is helpless and frail. This could be a real blow to a kids developing self esteem right the mother can be a symptom of the child's helplessness and the child might need to get away from the caregiver. It doesn't have to be the mother, especially now and at twenty one century, so that children may come to both fear separation from the mother and merger with the mother. Now, of course, this has incredible significance for the way love relations develop, because many people develop a terror of intimacy on the basis of feeling that intimacy makes one vulnerable and can destroy the person. There's an annihilation anxiety and some people in...

...regard to intimacy. So these are the kinds of issues separation individuation emerge, or kinds of conflicts that both potentially pressage annihilation. However, this being said, there are two other issues. One that this is something that happens to every child, not just some kids to varying degrees. Secondly, there is also the added phenomenon that parents will potentially threaten some kids. They will sometimes hit them, they will threaten them with punishment or loss of love, and this can also be terrifying and inculcate in the child the anxiety, the death, annihilation of some kind, not just physically but emotionally, can occur if they behave the wrong way. But further, and this is what Becker really gets into. Despite all of these particular issues, the separation individuation issues and the inculcation of various kinds of prohibitions, the fact is that human beings are all going to be to some degree terrified of death, and therefore it's not only the kids who have had an aberrant childhood who are going to be afraid of death, but all of us in some degree, to some degree, are going to go through life with this remnant of childhood helplessness staying with us. So these kinds of things are going to happen to a child, even with the most ideal parents. Are Right. Well, that's why, of Becker says that biological frailty and helplessness are something we carry with us throughout our lives and that it is true that parenting makes a huge difference and that there are kids who will be abused or who will internalize all sorts of toxic influences from their parents, are environment or wherever, and this will make a dramatic influence in terms of how courageously the kid goes through life, how afraid the kid is of independent daughter or independent action, etc. Etc. But on the other hand, the fact is, since we are all biologically and psychologically frail, even kids that are optimally nurtured and nourished emotionally will still carry with them this sense of frailty, this helplessness, to some degree, and that the fear of death is therefore not something that only some aberrant kids carry with them. This is part of what it means to be human. Now, the reason that this is so important, especially when it comes to backer, is that so many people who talk about the fear of death talk about it only in terms of the existential anxiety and adulthood, that is to say that there's some kind of avoidance of what happens until we get to be adults. There's some sense that we have this existential anxiety that occurs with the inception of consciousness and then, until then, there was no anxiety. It only dawned on us at a certain age that we would die and molder in the grave, and that's when we, as conscious beings, developed this fear of death. But what backers doing is making it far more sophisticated than that by talking about the developmental vicissitudes and, furthermore, how it's rooted in our biology and are very vulnerable psychology. And in fact one might say that the adult conception of death, the existential anxiety itself, would not exist without this childhood development, without this frailty, as it were, and furthermore, that the character of this existential death anxiety is specifically determined by all the kinds of experiences that...

...we go through, which really vary from individual to individual, and this is why we don't all think of death as the same way. Yes, as adults we may know the death means the cessation of life and that we may have associations of being in the grave and so forth, but when you ask people to think, what do you associate with death, they think of different things. Right, the Greeks associated death with sleep, among other things. Right, twin brother, et CETERA. Some people think of pain when they think of death, other people think of violence and murder when they think of death. Other people see it as as something that is peaceful and they may look forward to it. In some sense, varies from culture to culture. Really, it varies from culture to culture, but one might say that it's not just that the culture tends to provide for US various kinds of fantasies and religious views and images, but one might say that the culture itself is developed out of different kinds of fantasies that represent the disposition of the people who create that culture. It's not only acting from without, but that it's created from these various kinds of differentiating conditions which establish different imagery in regard to death. Now, individuals again will go through various kinds of experiences which will make the concept of death, or the imagery of death or the feelings about it very different. In my experience, my being a parent, I found kids aware of death at about two, two and a half, asking questions about death, and I think a lot in our culture, a lot of parents push that off. They say, Oh, you don't need to know about that, you need to talk about that, we don't need to bring that up for a little johnny, a little Susie, but get the it's in the kids head anyway. They want to protect them, they want to shield them, as if they can keep it from them. Yeah, yeah, well, obviously children who don't learn about death are only representing the denial of their parents. But of course, children can be instructed in a certain way about den't. My nephew is told about the cycle of life, as though we were all about the lion king in this sort of thing, and that this is considered a more benign way of telling a child that he's going to die, as opposed to look at that rotting squirrel in the yard teeming with maggots. That's going to be you someday. Right for the tomb of the Capuchin monks in Rome. That is a mausoleum full of sculptures and and chandeliers made of the bones of these monks and they're displaying the corpses and saying what you are now, we once were what we are now, you will one day be. This is much more horrifying. So, yes, there are different ways of the heart of Catholicism. Yes, you get that. You get that from day one in Catholic school. You're going to be dust someday. You're going to be dead some day. I've watch out, or you'll wide up in hell. All right, there are innumerable ways of teaching children about death and even though kids, I'll understand it differently, not only depending on what they're told but depending on what age they are and how capable they are of conceptualizing death. One might say that it's not only what they're told, but sometimes what they're not told. You said that some parents won't tell their kids about death. Well, not only does the kid not understand something because there's an absence of knowledge, but there's a way of internalizing that avoidance,...

...because that avoidance represents the psychological complexes and issues of the parent themselves. And even though the parent may say nothing, children will represent the unconscious of their parents. And what I mean by this, because it sounds really bizarre to say that, is that there are nonverbal ways of communicating things to kids. Right. They are nonverbal ways of scaring the hell out of a child by looking concerned or by being avoided or not talking about something. The body language can express something. A parent who's extremely taciturn about something, doesn't discuss it all, can still influence the child to be terrified of something. There is something to avoid here, there's some issue which is being avoided. The parent, through silence, may give the child some feeling of this parent. My parent is angry. The consequence of talking about this is going to be violence. This subject must be avoided or else my parent will kill me or not love me and things like this. So children can internalize a tremendous amount of information that can even be traumatic on the child without anybody having said a word about it. We've gone through this progression, this development. When do we get into in our development needing assurance of meaning and significance in our lives? When does that enter the picture? Well, I think any time a child feels anxiety, fear terror, it needs reassurance. This is again fundamentally part of being helpless, frail creature early in life. At a certain level it's purely physiological, that is to say, it's about the physical, physical nurturing. Children need the physical contact. In fact, if they don't actually receive the physical contact, they might not produce or anything decarboxylace, and there's their brains will actually not develop well enough. So they need physical contact for security and therefore physiological psychological development. But aside from this, kids begin to be verbal at a very early age and they're going to need to know that something is dangerous or not. Part of the function of language at all is to render things threatening or benign. Right naming is knowing something it's rendering, it's something that one can predict an understand, even if it's something that it's dangerous, it one knows where it is, one may be able to avoid it. So children from a very early age need various nonverbal and verbal cues to understand what is threatening, what may kill them, what they can rely upon, and they will begin to ask for narratives from a very early age as well. I mean this is what, to some degree, this what folklore. Folklore is about, this is what children stories, mythology is about. These may represent a whole gamut of different kinds of fantasies, including, by the way, satisfaction of various kinds of gruesome, violent fantasies that can be fairly disguise. But also from a right early and though games. Ye, well, that even them. That's even a little later, but even disguised. Yeah, but even from this, from this early age, there is a certain point where narratives are told in which Jack overcomes the giant, which is a fairly naked kind of fantasy in terms of one's anxieties. are being killed by some giants, right being eaten by whiches. These are fairly naked kinds of childhood, conflicts regarding the family and so forth, and so the...

...child is trying to ameliorate the story, the these anxieties with stories which can satisfy the child that he's not help us, he's not going to be eating, he's not going to be cannibalized or killed and so forth. So the child goes through life very a very early seeking meaning, seeking a narrative that explains things, whether it's a literal explanation. Please tell me that this is not a threat. Please tell me I'll go to heaven or something to this effect, or please tell me that the dog isn't going to bite my scoobies off. So I don't want to get some specifically believe that absolutely them. Can't say scoobies. Okay. So so, of course, from a very early age the child is going to be various kinds of explanations and stories. And now the debate, of course, is at what age is the child already repressing or denying in some sense what the child may even know on some level? So it's not only a question of whether children can fear death in an early age. As I said, there's such a thing as a pre categorical or pre verbal fear of death or annihilation, even if it's not understood conceptually. But in addition to this, there are is also a certain stage where defenses, psychological structure to start to develop in order to enable the kid to deal with the anxiety, and not necessarily through narratives, but through various means of emotionally knowing oneself or defending oneself against anxiety in regard to a norman grounds that will project again the narcissistic inflation. The way of fantasizing oneself, hero wising oneself is the child's and developing individuals way of avoiding the terror of death. Okay, let's say our audience understands this. They've taken this in. What do they do? Why is this important to them? Which should they know? I mean are unconscious. We're communicating through our unconscious mind, we're communicating through gestures and by not saying something. What should we know as a parent? Well, I would encourage parents to realize kids are not stupid, that they just because they're young and they maybe are not as complex as adults, that they still can pick up on things. They can be very observant, they can be extremely intelligent, they may be abble to perceive on many levels the kinds of issues that parents have, and the parents ought to really know themselves. They ought to really invest themselves in trying to understand it, just how their own behavior, even if they think it is benign and must be acting out, they must understand, they must inquire as to see what effect this really has on a child. I mean I have, I've seen many parents beating their kids and defending this as though it were good for the kids. When I taught at a little college in midtown, nobody, and I mean nobody, thought that beating children was bad. Every single student in every psychology class I taught thought that you had to beat children, and I mean beat them regularly, or else they would become criminals. So there's this kind of fantasy that they'll be monsters unless you beat the crap out of them. Right. German parents say that. Yes, okay, Germany really excited anyone, do they? I thought the culture pretty much settle in the fact that you don't. Well, there are amazing children without hitting where. We're a multi cultural nation and and it's not just cultures, it's individuals who...

...work out their own issues on their children, whether that means surviving through them, living through them vicariously, or inflicting on their own children what had been inflicted on them, and which happens a tremendously Zough, one might say, a repetition compulsion to work out issues on children, and it's very difficult for parents to understand or to perceive that they're doing this to their own children. Right, we talked a little bit about this at one time. What I see where I live is that kids are a report card. They're like you're justification, there the reflection of you, and they get into Princeton or Yale, then your your job is here. Well, yeah, yeah, you're your terrific parent, right. The consequence of this, of course, is that a child internalizes the idea that the child does not succeed, than the Child won't beloved, child will be hated. The child must therefore devote itself to pleasing other people motors survive psychologically, which is deemed to be it a wonderful thing. And because the child is now successful and going to an Ivy League school, but of course will suffer psychological consequences that the parents will disavow. It's not their fault because they of course had such a wonderful influence on these children. And to give you an extreme example I was going to mention before, is that in the nineteen century and even part of the twenty century, German parents often beat the hell out of their kids and smack them around really hard and said this is for your own Sake and God loves you, and you know God loves you because you're being beaten, and this was again deemed to be a good thing, a necessary thing, and that this would raise wonderfully healthy children who would, of course, become moral representatives of the society. And we have some idea of what kind of moral representatives these children became in the twenty century. And yet there is the fantasy that this is necessary and that this is what produces a healthy child. So why it's so hard growing up in America these days? This is part of it, right. What is it about the American culture that we're like youth focused dominated, and yet we have team pregnancy, we have teen suicide. Seems so hard to grow up. We tend to have certain conditions now which are troubling in their own right. We tend to have a guesel shaft kind of society. Are One that's less likely to be one of community, of communal values. But I'm not trying to take the George Bush like approach to this to say that we need to teach our kids values will part of the values themselves may be representative of certain kinds of real psychological problems we tend to have. Again, as as we've discussed their tremendous economic disparities, the parents them selves may be suffering from issues that aren't so apparent. They may be suffering from their own self esteem issues, investments again in their own children, success that have consequences that are unanticipated because the parents don't see that these will have unfortunate side effects. The question is an extremely complicated one and when we're not going to get to answer too much more than that, unfortunately, for this show we're agains just getting ex fin now. Once again, it's been a fascinating discussion. When you come back and talk with us again another time? Oh absolutely,...

...that's great. Our guest has been Dr Jerry piven. Jerry, thank you for a terrific conversation. My pleasure. You've been listening to an interview with Jerry piven talking about child development. Fears Narcissism and child rearing. So, Ken, what's your takeaway? Well, Steve, Jerry starts off talking about the trauma of birth, which reminded me of Auto Rocks Book, the myth of the birth of the hero, and the original German or the English translation, English mine hair rock says that we're all heroes in the act of our birth. And I'm adlibbing from from Joseph Campbell's series with Bill Moyers, which I never get tired of. He says that in our birth we're undergoing a tremendous transformation from being living first in a little water environment in our mother then to being dragged out, historically, by a by a doctor and pulled into this cold air environment and filled with fluorescent lights and so forth and whacked and we take our first breath and cry. And I mean that's a huge transformation just in itself, is it not? And a huge thing for the mother to bring it about. So, before we get too far into this, I want to pull one line from the middle of Jerry's talk. Okay, he says this is all part of what it means to be human, right, and I take that to mean that being human people, we all share common experiences and difficulties that are no one's fault. They're just part and parcel of being human. Ernest Becker sums it up when he says this is how this animal must behave if it is to function as this animal. Many people who have no taste for self reflection will tend to deny that any of this applies to them, unfortunately, unfortunately so. Jerry talks about the child wanting to be a master of their own fate, to be independent, what he called individuation issues. Ernest Becker writes about the cause of Suwey or Suey project, meaning to be the cause of oneself, to be one's own parent. That's our goal growing up, to be our own, to be the the cause of oneself. That's a very good way to put that. Jerry also mentions Norman o Brown's concept of the edible project, not in the Freudian sense, but in the way of the helpless child trying to be, as you just said, the master of his own fate. The child will fantasize that he has control over things, in a process that Jerry termed narcissistic inflation. He will, in effect, lie to himself about the situation that he finds himself in, because that situation is simply too frustrating and awful for him to deal with in any other way. Right. And at the same time,...

...children deal with annihilation anxiety. Right. Jerry interprets death via Becker, pointing out the human children are born prematurely, we're not fully developed and we're in an extremely vulnerable state and we sense this very early and we're terrified of annihilation long before we have the abstract concept of death to tie to it. That reminded me of Mister Rogers once again, Mister Rogers. I love Mister Rogers. I go back to him when we talk about children. James Ponawazik wrote that Fred Rogers calmed fears that may seem silly to a lot of people, but to a child they're real and consuming, like being afraid to take a bath because you might be sucked down the drain. and Mr Rogers sang this song you can never go down, never go down, never go you can never go down the drain. I don't know the tune, not remember, but good thing I remember him. I Bet I remember him singing that and thinking wow, that's that's heavy. So Fred Rogers knew that childhood, which we all Misremember as care free and innocent, Rogers remembers it's a time of roiling passions, anguish and terror. Well, that's right, and the fact that he remembers something like being afraid of going down the drain is just, I think, a wonderful thing to do for children. and I wonder who's doing that for children now. Well, not only that, but we're just now, we our society is just now getting a handle on what child development really is. Well, that's some of us, without even talking about the technology, just the childhood development, just to childhood develop itself. We had all yeah, we had all these assumptions about when children know certain things and I had a conversation with my young son on a bus ride once. He couldn't have been much older than but three or four. He asked me what happens when you die. I said no one knows, figuring that would be it, and then he asked if he could still hear the children playing when he was dead. Wow, I didn't know what to say. I replied that he probably couldn't, but I was very uncomfortable not being prepared for this discussion with a little kid. He said he hoped he could hear the children playing when he was dead. It was one of the saddest conversations I've ever had because as a parent you want to fix it, you want to...

...reassure the child that, oh, he won't die, he'll be in heaven and can hear the children playing. But I couldn't bring myself to do that. I but I sat there. I had nothing to offer him. And what was interesting to me was he wasn't terrified of death the way the terror management, theorists talk about it, way Becker talks about it. He was saddened by it. Death awareness is not only frightening, it's excruciatingly sad. Yes, it is, and when you put it in the context of a story like that, it gets even sadder. But, Steve, you didn't you didn't lie to your son. No, and it seemed that you you did the best job of suffering along with him and letting him see you suffer along with him. I've heard that's one of the best things that a parent can do when they don't know what else to do, is to let the child see that you don't know what else to do and work through it in front of them rather than try to pretend, because they're going to know. If you try to pretend, kids know way more than you wish they did right now, right. So you, I think, I think you hit the limits of what a parent can realistically do. I mean no one can fix death now, you can't, much as you'd like to, you can't. So, getting back to Jerry, there are three issues at play here. Separation from the parent, individuation, coming into yourself and the fear of absorption or merger with the parent. And Jerry mentioned at this point that there are some parents who will still threaten their children or hit them or inculcate prohibitions and on the child and in so doing their subjecting the child to their own unexamined, unconscious processes. And when he said that I remembered a book by Alice Miller that I read years ago called the drama of the gifted child. And by gifted she means intelligent and alert, and by drama she means the internal process that goes on when the child realizes the power game that's going on in the family and can see through the parents long before they would ever think that the child could see through them. We children know when you're lying to them. They do, they can tell. They've been watching you since they were born. So Miller talks about this. It's a controversial book, but it is about narcissistic wounds and how we get through life bearing up under the narcissism that that can create for us. So I was just thinking about that book. Maybe we'll break come back to it another time. I'd like to read it. It sounds really interesting, but first I have to read Mary Trump's book about her famous uncle, the most dangerous man in America. She...

...calls him wow. Talk About Narcissism and childhood. She Remembers Donald as a child growing up in a family that was headed by a sociopath. Okay, I'm guessing for writing that book she's not getting a very good Christmas present this year. No, but she's making a ton of money. That'll probably make it easier, but I guess. So. Jerry said that the child tries to overcome vulnerability by controlling their environment. So think about it. Control starts early and continues throughout one's life. We try to control other people in our family, in marriage, in employment, Yep, our society. Yeah, I'm society tries to control other countries. Our police try to control lawful protesters. We spend our lives trying to control the uncontrollable, which inevitably is death. Well, that's right. And, as Jerry pointed out, which I thought was extremely sentient and relevant to the world we find ourselves in now, this often stems from our early state of vulnerability in childhood and our attempts to control the situation by controlling our parents and, by extension, controlling the world around them. Yeah, and getting back to the notion that developing children will fantasize or hallucinate a sense of narcissistic inflation. Normal, no, Brown term, kids learn to lie to themselves about how important they are in the universe. It's right, and there is an epidemic of narcissism in our country and it's growing among young people, unfortunately. Unfortunately, that is perhaps why we elected a narcissist in chief. Our culture glorifies and rewards the self important, self promoting and self aggrandizing entertainer, athlete, artist, politician, you name it, Yep, and what is deemed success is most often the result of relentless self promotion, like Madonna. She was good at it. It's a she was, she's the best. Yeah, it's a toxic relationship between what is needed in our culture for self esteem, which of course, is a vital defense against death anxiety, and what we have to become to get it, a self centered narcissist. Yeah, and the younger generation is being pulled in opposite directions, narcissism on the one hand and concern for the common good on the other. So you look at black lives matter, me to sunrise, occupy never again, or march for our lives, all our activist movements...

...that involve primarily young people who want to change the world for the better, which is the world they will inherit soon. But it means they have to turn away from the narcissism that they're being shown as desirable on every award shows, in social media entertainment, all the rap songs that they've been listening to. Their just drowning in narcissism. That's true. Jerry also mentioned guest Self Shaft Society, one that is less likely to hold communal values. Yeah, it's an interesting us if you didn't get to develop it much. But when you think about it, the impersonality of much of our urban and suburban dominated society, that detachment from traditional and sentimental concerns, this society that is rationalistic, secular, and outlook is it's producing a narcissistic generation that simultaneously torn to embrace communal values as well as racial and social justice in the woke movement, and possibly some interest in acquiring power thereby, power that their generation will inevitably have. Well, the demographics are certainly on their side. Can't deny that one. So we've been talking about child development. Yet another important idea, wouldn't you know it. Join US next time. Like us on Facebook, please recommend us to your friends. You can find us at www dot important ideascom and support us on Patreon at wwwcom the hub important ideas. We are one hundred percent listener supported. Thank you for listening to the hub for important ideas. I'm Steve James and I'm Ken Swain. STAY SAFE, everybody. Stay well.

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