Adulthood:  good intentions gone wrong.  

Yesterday a pilot dropped in to the flight school while I was there doing the FAA paperwork to prepare for my checkride.  A former flight instructor there, he’s now a commercial pilot for an airline and flies jets on long international flights for his career.  He came in to see if the flight school still did airplane rentals, as he wanted to do some small plane flying for fun.  The flight school doesn’t, but I mentioned that I’d been looking at the newly-formed local flying club, which offers the opportunity to rent a plane by the hour. 

“Their pricing is too steep,” he replied.  “I’m a 777 pilot and they’ve priced me out, it doesn’t make sense to rent from them.”   

Jarringly incongruous statement number one.

We struck up a conversation about my flying aspirations, which led to me sharing my plan to buy an open-cockpit biplane for the purpose of wingwalking and all-around joyriding. 

“You mean you are going to be doing aerobatic maneuvers around here, from this airport?   You’ve got to let me know when you’re doing that, I’ll want to watch!”  

With a wistful look in his eye, he said, “that would be fun, I’d love to fly a Stearman.   But I don’t want to start doing aerobatic maneuvers.  If I did, my regular job would become way too boring and I’d hate it, just pressing autopilot and sitting in the cockpit for 12 hours.”

The dream of flight.  Flattened into a “career” which doesn’t pay enough to allow fun flight.   With  flattened desires that inhibit the pursuit of fun, lest the gap between the dream and reality become too painful to bear.

We are living in a society in which the youth suicide rate is skyrocketing.  Just this week, a man in his early twenties walked into a grocery store in Colorado and opened fire, killing ten innocent people.  Obviously there are many contributing factors to these tragedies.

But given what we are serving up our young people as the role model for “what adulthood is,” it should be no surprise that youth have not a small degree of internalized rage, despair, and bleakness, for which there seems to be no solution.   With this as our “normal” expectation for adulthood, we’ve suppressed life force to catastrophic levels already.   All it takes is a few additional variables for the innate desire for LIFE to become distorted and expressed in ways that cause harm and suffering to all.

We, however, are complicit in these tragedies, simply in how we passively accept a diminished state of existence as normal and appropriate, and expect young people to comply. 

We gasp in horror when young people express their rage in unhealthy ways.   But outrage is, and should be, the appropriate response, to the way in which we unconsciously murder and destroy the expression of our own souls.