Psychological Neoteny- I’m getting older, not more mature…

I read an article today about a study showing that people today are tending to retain a state of immaturity far into adulthood. Basically, instead of becoming fixed in their ways, focused on stability and safety, more and more people are continuing to retain a child-like interest in new and different things, in change, and in learning new things.

This doesn’t shock me- but then I’ve always had a hard time thinking in purely adult terms. I am rigidly resistant to change in some areas: home, family, friends, fashion. But I also like to discover novel ways of doing things, to try new technologies, to read new books, to explore new ideas and ways of thinking. I don’t want to grow up…not if growing up means no longer learning new things, not feeling passionate about what I believe, being unwilling to change what I believe, or beginning to think of every new thing as some sort of an assault on all that is right and true.

I think the world needs a mix of “mature” people who are somewhat resistant to change with people who are embrace new things with the wonder of a child. I’d go a step further and say that we need a mix of these attitudes in all of us. I suppose the trick is finding the balance, so that we can enthusiastically explore the new and amazing things that come our way while simultaneously remembering we have to pay the mortgage.

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