Giving up on the grown ups

The first chapter of my book is called “We all need to grow up”. In it I hoped to encourage people to make the most of the wonderful opportunity the web gives us to step forward and take responsibility for ourselves.

And yet I have always mistrusted people who were too keen to grow up. Too keen to wear that suit, too keen to get that job title, too keen to have kids that they could mould, too keen to get into positions of power so that they could protect the rest of us from their own dysfunctional projections.

Now that the grown ups, in the guise of bankers, politicians, and journalists, are letting the rest of us down on a regular basis, I am more inclined than ever to put my faith in those who are brave enough to be naive, foolish, enthusiastic, and open – because maybe that is how real grown ups should be?

4 thoughts on “Giving up on the grown ups

  1. Reminiscent of that ‘corporate anarchist – court jester’ meme you were working on a while ago.

    Keep calm and carry on, they say. And I remember the gist of our long-ago discussions about deep change likely requiring 30 – 50 years (tho’ who knows, really .. )

    Anyway .. naive, foolish, enthusiastic and open is more fun. Something I’m (re)learning a lot from hanging around often with a little 4-year old boy who is just bursting with intelligence and life πŸ˜‰


  2. I understand where you are coming from, but from I see happening over the last few years I’d like to add the following: ‘we’ are old and the people you describe here are old school "I want to mold people" and ‘new school’ "I want to be foolish and enthusiastic and suddenly I can! Everybody can, with low ressources and everything" (which btw is a lot what is happening here in Berlin).

    Yet – very very sadly yet – there seems to be something lost, so fundamental that I get exhausted by how much everbody is not grown up to the basic level of before. Not the level of the first kind, but if I get booed constantly here for having this simple question of "so you want to have vc money – what is the roguh business model idea?" or "so yeah, you can be really head of something at 27 and kick ass at it – but sorry darling, you are so far away from that it I don’t even know where to start with you … oh yes, how about that attitude? You are smart, which makes you more probably to learn really much really fast … too bad that is not what you are going for.". The biggest responsibility they take? Managing to get – maybe – an intern salary and not even having a plan how to get from a to b.

    Sorry for the ranting. Please write more of that book. I need some island of hope that the really smart people are not all gone. πŸ˜‰


    1. I totally agree and often rant about misplaced faith in "Gen Y". It’s all more about an attitude of mind than age and finding the right balance between staying flexible but still taking responsibility.


  3. There is a story about Picasso as an older man. There was an exhibition of his recent drawings – you know the ones that looked like a child’s scribblings. A New York Matron approached him and said, "Mr Picasso, my 7 year old grandson can draw better than that."

    He replied, "Madam, when I was 7 I could draw like Raphael. It has taken me a lifetime to learn how to draw like a child."

    I like being 63 now. I get more childlike all the time. It’s a good thing.


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