Observation: adults (people above 20) do not change in character normally. Even worse, they also do not change in qualification. They finished their formal education, which set the direction, and until their death, they normally keep going in that direction. But without change, there is no hope.
What’s the reason for this alarming static condition of adults? First, they do not have relationships that are intensive enough to forge character. A child has this kind of “overwhelming” relationships in its family, and cannot escape. This also makes a child vulnerable to emotional abuse, but enables also imprinting positive, constructive values into the character. Adults however can and do leave their partners and children if it gets difficult, and can mentally block the imprinting-capability of situations. Second, many adults never learned to learn by themselves, and thus cannot change by self-education.
The effects are disastrous. Some people are even stuck in misery, where they lack and cannot acquire the social, technical and medical qualifications to take part in daily life. Nobody will teach them: in the stressful life of modern societies, people who could teach this don’t have the time for it (it takes years) or don’t deal at all with these people, and official institutions fail because only short “therapies” can be paid, but not the long-term teaching. And all the other people who were happy enough to acquire the qualifications for daily life: they also cannot change, which means they live way below their potential. They have to earn money to live, and this leaves no time to really learn from friends, or to teach friends. If we take the common term “individual fulfillment” to mean that everybody can live up to his full potential, including the full potential to serve others, then this is a good thing. But impossible in our loosely coupled, stressful societies. These societies chose to chase “material fulfillment” instead, and this causes much of this stress and de-socialization.
Can all this be any different? Why not? First, we need some (4-12) people with the insight that they need to and want to change in character and qualifications. These might be possible to find in a Christian church, as Christianity teaches just this need for personal change. Then, these people would set up a system of semi-formal mutual education. For a start, meeting on two afternoons a week, each time to learn about something different, both in theory and practice. But because 80% of actual learning happens when applying the learned theoretical concepts, it would be way better to form a kind of “educational community”. Where it is clear at all times what each one wants to learn, and people help each other to do so in the moment-by-moment flow of daily life. Also, building ones personal technical equipment would be a common task in such a setting, making it much more fun.
I’d love to live 3-5 years in such a community. It even could become a rewarding life task if this can be set up as a divide-and-multiply system in developing countries, dedicated to educating young native people towards serving their country. Of course, I’d also like to learn a lot of stuff myself: moral courage, martial arts, running, climbing and other sports, experiencing God, communicating about God, basic medical qualifications, survival techniques, dancing, truck mechanics, marketing etc..
Anybody likes to join? 😉