Psychology

Why Young Lives Lives Are Losing Meaning and Purpose V: Faking it to Fit in

By M.K. Styllinski

The Wallflower or Attention Seeker?

“The fraudulence paradox was that the more time and effort you put into trying to appear impressive or attractive to other people, the less impressive or attractive you felt inside — you were a fraud. And the more of a fraud you felt like, the harder you tried to convey an impressive or likable image of yourself so that other people wouldn’t find out what a hollow, fraudulent person you really were.”

— David Foster Wallace


Reading time: 10-12 mins

Another aspect to consider in this overview of happiness is the introvert/extrovert poles and the mix of both, classed as ambivert. This is a useful starting point from which to guage how imbalance can manifest and impressions start to depart from who we really are, to become camouflage rather an expression of our essential nature. The trick is to become internal auditors of our self-awareness – an introspective quest of self-observation. With the help of others, we begin to employ an objective analysis as best we can, which is where Eurich’s “imaginary therapist” comes in.  Equally important is an extrospective quest or external auditors to increase our self-awareness with other people and to discover how they really see us. Once we have both introspective and extrospective quests covered then we are in a good position to start the climb toward greater awareness and a bigger vista from which to make further progress.

Of course, you can excel at one and not the other. That means introverts may be better at seeing what many of us miss, but suffer when it comes to externalising and applying those discoveries. For instance, they might have a harder time establishing that supportive circle of true friendships that can house the creativity for community, although they harbour a greater understanding of the covert psychological strategies at play, mostly due to their bid to remain under the radar and away from the spotlight. Generally, extroverts will have more difficulty with sufficient introspection since they are often more comfortable with an external focus. Such people usually have no problem creating social circles but they will a) likely have friendships that enjoy their charisma and entertainment value but seldom have friends get close enough to access their real nature outside of that “larger than life” persona, b) the large amount of friends they may have is due to the possibility that these contacts can only stand them in small doses c) imbalanced extroverts tend to suck the energy out of a group or gathering in their bid to be the centre of attention which ultimately leads to friendship fatigue and/or accumulated tension, jealousy and conflict. (Unless of course, their behaviour is due to the Dark Triad which is a whole different ball-game).

For the imbalanced introverts who are immersed in a culture that unfairly values extroversion, such people often feel lonely, anxious and depressed. The imbalanced introvert will likely believe she does not have the courage or the likeability to engage sufficiently with others and will think that people would probably misunderstand her anyway, especially if her social skills have atrophied. Acute shyness seldom recedes if these fears aren’t addressed. Many introverts who are concerned about their personality type (whether such an expesssion is natural or artificial) place too much importance on what others might think of them and are locked into erroneous fears about the impressions they might engender should they have the courage to properly exchange. Social exchange is harder for those naturally preferring solitude, peace and one-to-one relationships but the sensitivity and perspicacity that often goes with introversion is much needed in our culture. Imbalanced introversion can lead to the kind of self-pity which produces the Damsel-in-Distress or Little Boy Lost Syndromes which seeks to ellict attention in manipulative way. Neither ploys evoke long lasting relationships.

The imbalanced extrovert doesn’t place enough importance on the art of exchange and may place great stock in his own perceived value – or at least, his need to operate in such a way that delivers what he needs i.e. required energy through attention – which may or not be in synch with others’ needs. His or her self-concept can be limitless and they can thrive in situations of pressure, risk and responsibility. They can be the life and soul of the party or a heavy jack-boot on true exchange, hogging the conversation and dominating all those in his presence whether at a board meeting or the pub. God help us if he isn’t entertaining and charismatic. Behind all that bravado however, they can be as insecure as the timid introvert, preferring to use a different mechanism to fill up the emotional tank of the ego. Obnoxious behaviour with minimal social skills will gradually deliver the extrovert to the same place as the introvert who is busy wallowing in her own shadow. The only difference is that the imbalanced extrovert will refuse to believe it and attempt to “entertain” amid uncomfortable smiles and polite excuses to catch the last taxi home.

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Why Young Lives Are Losing Meaning And Purpose IV: Impression Management

By M.K. Styllinski

“The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.”

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters


Reading time: (10 mins)

Studies published on life satisfaction in 2016 by economist Hannes Schwandt were based not on future situations, but on how young people felt about where they would be in five years. The gap between the optimism of the early years and the disappointment at the end of those five years was extremely clear in the graphical data. As a result, by their thirties realism had kicked in and expectations had levelled off and conformed to the well-documented U-shape trajectory of happiness for their fifties. So, there is reason to be hopeful. Meantime, the curve downwards in twenties and thirties appears to be getting steeper and the parameters and focus by which happiness is defined appears very narrow. i.e. equated with material possessions and employment. As discussed before, while the latter is important, they are not reliable indicators of happiness, the very concept of which is highly ephemeral and quite different to core, creative joy. Jonathan Rauch wrote in The Happiness Curve (2015) about the nature of a natural, U-shaped curve, a mid-life transition rather than a dead-end crisis: “This transition has a direction: something you could even call a purpose…The upslope of the happiness curve has an emotional direction, which is toward positivity. But it also has a relational direction, which is toward community….This is a social story, although we rarely experience it that way.” [1]  Why is that? Perhaps because we are programmed to fabricate our own personal islands on a sea of perceived separation from our fellow humans. After all, it’s a dark world out there and society is designed to actively limit pragmatic and constructive cooperation outside the State.

In truth, the myth of the middle age crisis is just part of an overall crisis of meaning that reaches pressure points throughout our lives. Such crises appear to exist outside time and space. It may well be an archetypal/mythical narrative that demands to be heard and acted out so that creative energy can be released. If we don’t consciously address what is lacking then the adaptive unconscious will do it for us to survive. We might see this recognition as a form of recapitulation as described by Carlos Castaneda, whereby we go over our lives with a fine tooth-comb, remembering all we have met, places we have visited and situations we have experienced in order to glean insights and realisations. This focus may create a form of resonance and feedback from the past to aid us in the future. Personal responsibility in this regard and to social interaction in general, could determine how we handle the happiness-unhappiness seesaw and if we can transcend it; whether we become masters of our ship and gain satisfaction from the simplicity of life as much as the dramatic flourishes of success, as defined by our culture. This would explain the common period of discontent at various stages in later life from the late thirties and forties. Rather than a mid-life crisis of lost opportunities perhaps it is a realisation that all that creative energy is not being used as it should?

The emotional and relational drive toward meaning and purpose is intimately tied up with our natural social intelligence that can guide us to connect for the good of the whole and the health of the individual. The desperate ambition and self-oriented focus of youth, a natural egocentricity which has been inflated by our cultures can, through the crises that happen, become a redemptive process when tied to community initiatives. Abstractions and conceptualisations have the potential to become concrete and specific, grounded in real-world solutions and tailored toward our own local needs. Trying to save oneself is transposed to “saving” others. Trying to save the world is transposed to “saving” the community. These efforts outwards, reflect the work taken place inwards, and paradoxically away from self-absorption. This can foster greater authenticity and the slow shedding of the narcissistic traits that we have allowed culture to create for us.

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Why Young Lives Lives Are Losing Meaning and Purpose III: The Happiness-Unhappiness Seesaw

By M.K. Styllinski

Photo: Nathan Dumlao | unsplash.com

[“Happiness is ] the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”

– Sonjia Lyubomirsky, positive psychology researcher


Reading time: (10-15 mins)

Are you happy?

The answer to this question will depend on your life experiences to date, your culture and your age. But there may be a universal set of principles which we might adopt in order to achieve some level of contentment with our lot.  It won’t surprise you that meaning, purpose and social support are integral to that state of being.  Although there is much to be happy and certainly unhappy about in our world, perhaps there is a way to transcend the weary swing from either pole?

Happiness generally exists as an emotional seesaw between the future and the past, with the present squeezed out of existence. We are constantly told that we will only be happy when we get the girl/guy, marriage, the car, the house, the income, the career. For the young, if ambition still exists, it is tied to relentless consumption and the economic uncertainty that comes with it. Happiness can only arrive it seems, when we are safe and secure or lost in the adrenalin of the moment. Many Millennials and Generation Z have been molded that way so that any kind of contentment is dependent on material gain, identity/image and peer group status. It’s normalised to the point that we don’t pay it too much attention anymore. Sure, it’s been that way for a long time, but the difference is that young people generally do not have the desire, will or capacity to wait longer than the click of a mouse to discover that true happiness might just be gained from something other than social media, porn, computer games and SMART society consumption in general. Why should they? What is there to be happy about when to make sense of reality you are offered a daily diet of lies and misinformation and a 24hr streaming of corporate CEOs, TV/movie stars and gold-toothed rappers as role models?

The message to our youth today is to strive for the gold at the end of the rainbow even if most conventional wisdom keeps telling us it’s a pot-holed road to nowhere. Yet, the technosphere is powerful. Superficial stimulants to engage for the short-term fix are endemic for the young and keep them tied to a variety of cultural addictions, which includes being driven into the opoid arms of Big Pharma and its disgusting exploitation of generations of spiritually disppossessed. Yet, the very state of happiness must be conditional and transitory since it is rooted in the ebb and flow of the personality subject to the above; that is either growing, thus in a state of flux, or undergoing stasis and prone to disintegration. So, we seek that unassailable “happy” state as a means to stave off discomfort (and opportunities to grow thereby) rather than to surrender and embrace the unknown and reconfigure what happiness really means.

Unfortunately, young and old alike are more miserable than ever before. Why is it for instance, there’s been hardly any change at all in the levels of happiness experienced by Americans since 1972? [1] Indeed, loneliness and isolation play a huge part as a product of our woefully value-less economic nightmare we call “progress”. In the U.S., nearly half of all meals are eaten alone; the average American has fewer friends than twenty years ago and by 2008, less than one third of people had socialised with their neighbours compared nearly half that number about twenty-five years previously.  It’s no better in the UK, with folks less likely to know their neighbours or have strong friendships than any other country in Europe. [2]

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Why Young Lives are Losing Meaning and Purpose II: The Big Three and 11 Factors

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny | unsplash.com


“Community connectedness is not just about warm fuzzy tales of civic triumph. In measurable and well-documented ways, social capital makes an enormous difference in our lives…Social capital makes us smarter, healthier, safer, richer, and better able to govern a just and stable democracy.”

~ Robert D. Putnam

Reading time: 20-25 mins

In the last post I looked at the decrease in meaning and purpose parallel to the increase in loneliness and isolation for today’s millennial and Z generations.  Sociologists, economists and psychologists generally all agree that the key to developing and holding on to meaning, purpose and well-being is sufficient social interaction with a core group of friends and family that define one’s support. This is not the same as an extended family that usually arises from enforced socio-economic factors, but one that naturally evolves based around shared vision of support and nourishment because it is both practical and sustainable, offering real world benefits.

John F. Helliwell, a prominent expert in the economics of happiness believes the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives at the deepest levels. And the quality of those relationships is reflected in how well we have activated our response-ability and activities that offer a form of service to the community – whatever form that might be. This is what creates and deepens ties with others: constructive actions alongside key initiatory ideas. Helliwell draws his work from very large data sets called the World Values Survey which has accrued answers from people in over 150 countries about life satisfaction along with other socio-economic information. When Helliwell crunched the data he and other researchers found that there were six reliable and consistent factors which accounted for well-being:

  1. Social support
  2. generosity
  3. trust
  4. freedom
  5. income per capita
  6. healthy life expectancy [1]

Four from the list are connected with social interaction within a community. The other factors are relational and occur as a response to, or as a natural property of social support.  So a stratum of support covering all aspects of human aspiration is a really big deal, the lack of which will play a large part in the development of our social ills.

The Big Three

It seems to me, the development of meaning and purpose is rooted in three foundational products of social interaction which, if healthy, underpin a successful society, the constituents of which all operate symbiotically and grow parallel to each other. Thus, the creation of an individual emerges and is informed by:

  1. Parents
  2. Family
  3. Community

Obvious perhaps, but in crisis nonetheless. These three make up the strata in the soil of society/culture which is dependent on the level of access to community (should it even exist) a solid connection to nature and the quality of the environment upon which all three rest. [2]  Similarly, the healthy functioning of the three will have within them poor psycho-spiritual “nutrients”, or a rich, fertile ground that is self-sustaining and therefore community-sustaining. The presence of Helliwell’s six factors will be informed by the quality of the Big Three.

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Why Young Lives are Losing Meaning and Purpose I

By M.K. Styllinski

“Young adults are facing more stressful conditions than older generations, such as an increasingly competitive labor market, rising costs of housing, an increase in higher education costs, and issues of self-identity and confidence driven by more widespread use of social media.”

— Morag Henderson, sociologist at University College London


Reading time: (25-30 mins)

The crisis of meaning and purpose is something many of us are grappling with today. Girls and boys and young adults in particular are not succeeding in this battle. The path which defines our lives up to middle and retirement age is for the majority, mostly a constellation of conditioned responses encouraged by Official Culture. It replaces true meaning with a role that serves the technosphere as opposed to our true calling. Not always, but all too frequently. Then we are back to that existential crisis of youth where something deep inside knows that to find true creative balance takes a life time of struggle against forces that oppose any kind of spiritual liberation. Unless that is, we have the support to explore the transformation that comes knocking at the door of consciousness at various stages of our lives. To even have the awareness to heed that call requires a very different society than we have now.

Life is extremely complicated for young people these days, whether they are in Western, Asian, African or Middle Eastern societies. The predisposition of tyranny from our hierarchical institutions and social systems means that such a danger will always be there, even when there is momentum toward autopoietic * social innovations. The imbalance inherent within state authority and the unceasing drive of so many to live outside it’s influence is growing. This is a welcome reaction against the finite and unsustainable nature of cartel capitalism and rampant state-sponsored crimes against humanity. But we haven’t yet found that crucial tension, that balance that provides a psychological inoculation against psychopathic infiltration which so often turns civilisations into crucibles of centralised control.

The corruption of hierarchical power always weakens the structure to the point of catastrophic failure. And there are always young folks who act as literal and symbolic precursors to that descent, usually by embodying those ills and thereby showing us what long term or immediate future lies ahead. Each epoch manifests that see-saw between managed chaos and mass creativity which eventually bursts forth in destructive ways, sweeping away everything that went before.  Children and young adults are the tuning fork of future generations in this regard. Nonetheless, there is has been a very wide historical berth when it comes to defining how our youth interact with the world. The older generations have a distinct challenge to make sure our younger generations are correctly tuned to that which offers hope, spiritual strength and resilience to face what is certain to be an unpredictable and challenging future.

But let’s rewind for a moment…

Take Medieval England for example. During that time the majority of medieval people were young with far fewer older people with around thirty-five to forty percent under fifteen years old. There was a distinct and recognised period where the early formative years were largely employed for utilitarian ends. If there were not distinct roles then the family didn’t survive. As a result, the Church law and common law regarded children as equal to adults in many ways. Parenting was just as important and often imbued with strict moral and community-based values inspired by the Church and folklore. Though play was a vital part of growing up and of far greater importance than today, if a child was unprepared for the realities of what was a rather brutal world, it meant that the longevity of the family would be weakened as would the life of the child. Conscientiousness in one’s work had to be learned early on as it was quite often a life and death situation. [1]

The ubiquity of young folks meant there were major social differences in every community and sphere of activity. A feudal hierarchy of industry meant clearly defined roles with a narrow band of what could constitute freedom from our perspective today. It also meant that on average, there was seventeen years’ less experience of life to draw on and very few elders and betters that children had to go to for advice. This high proportion of young people experienced a violent, feudal world which saw hand-to-hand combat; brutality passing for entertainment; state sanctioned slavery and appalling daily health hazards – including periodic visitations of the plague – as the backdrop to their lives. Medieval boys for example, had what amounts to a man’s job from the age of seven and could have his wee hand chopped off if he decided to pinch some fruit from a market stall. If he graduated to a more audacious deed like stealing a hairpin or a Lord’s hat, he could be hanged by his doubtless scrawny neck. Boys could legally marry at aged fourteen and were considered ready to fight in the King’s army. Those born into the nobleman’s life or royalty had material comforts but a different level of responsibility. For example, Prince Edward, at just sixteen years old was in command of whole battalion.

Not a lot of leeway for a “safe space” in that milieu.

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The Hissy Fit Generation And The Loss of Free Speech VII: The Subversion of Social Justice (3)

It is this obfuscation of truth by an ideology that favours nihilism and deconstruction for its own sake that is causing serious problems to the very idea of social justice since it focuses not on the major issues of our time that could promote unity as we strive to obtain solutions, but directs enormous amounts of intellectual and emotional energy upon that which divides us. This is ironically, the centuries old principle of the Establishment classes. Further, there is no evidence at all that institutionalising microaggressions and trigger warnings assists the development of well-adjusted and resilient students – quite the reverse. Universities are becoming enablers of a generation that is manifesting a range of mental illnesses which the psychiatry Industry and its Big Pharma paymaster happily exploits and enhances.  With child abuse, neglect and the rise of infantilism and narcissistic family dynamics, one wonders how much of the SJW angstivism is actually a product of degrees of undiagnosed trauma.

It’s a widening of core imbalances in societies which can be likened to a series of psychic explosions overlapping in concentric circles – each fuelling the other as they touch. In the central core are what I call the Four Drivers of the Deep State infused by the psychopathic mind. It is this that determines the profitable yet wholly unsustainable machinery of our world. All else derives from this core imbalance. Any subjective, lazy thinking which inspires division and tribalism acts as a mask over which this darkness continues to thrive. Mental illness and trauma-based dysfunction offers a fertile base for ponerological expansion.

And rising up amongst all this in troubled America is as yet another symptom of social chaos in the form of militant anti-fascism, or Antifa. Like so many on the hard left, Mark Bray (quoted above) chooses not to see that the authoritarianism of which he speaks knows no ideological boundaries. Its pathology  rises up just as easily within the left radicalism he worships. They believe they are taking pre-emptive measures against neo-Nazism and choosing not to see that using the same rule book as their nemesis will feed that particular beast and indeed, magnify its reach. The more Antifa fights fire with fire the more likely it is that such direct action will be used by the very Establishment forces they claim to be against. For an academic with a focus on history Bray’s rationalisations appear to have made him blind to its lessons.


“Despite our many differences over specific policies, most Americans have traditionally supported the side of liberty, tolerance, free speech, and peaceful political change, within broad parameters. That side is in opposition to the violent, authoritarian thugs of the right and of the left. If we regain our faith in what we already have, there’s no reason to choose between rival siblings competing to rule over the ruins of everything that’s worthwhile on behalf of their illiberal family.”

Choose Sides? You Bet. But Antifa and Fascism Are the Same Side, By J.D. Tuccille


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The Hissy Fit Generation and the Loss of Free Speech VII: The Subversion of Social Justice (2)

Courtesy of Susan Duclos of All News PipeLine| Click on image for larger version


“Since the 1990s, there’s been a change. The most scared thing at a university is the victim. Not in all departments and not in the sciences, but in the social sciences, especially in the humanities, the victim is the most sacred thing”

“The net effect [of safe spaces] is that the very people you are trying to help are rendered weaker and they become morally dependent.”

— Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist


In the last post we explored the landscape of social justice and the influence of the Social Justice Warrior (SJW) mindset expressed in particular through activism in universities and through rules and laws in education. We’ll be doing more of the same in this post with particular emphasis on racism and sexism in schools and universities.

In the Alice in Wonderland worldview of the SJW, racism, sexism and the accusation that anyone who is a straight, white and male and happens to disagree is immediately on the wrong side of the SJW contingent and opening themselves up to an array of derogatory labels. We become right wing provocateurs; “privileged” and misogynist; white supremacists and “——-phobic” (fill in the blank).  Critics must feel terminally guilty and contrite for being borne into a racial demographic that in the past presided over genocide and institutional racism, pre-civil rights era. Not withstanding the irony that comes from the inherent privilege of students and academics, there is no evidence it exists now on the scale touted by these terminally offended young minds.

True racism is someone who expresses distaste or hatred for someone, simply due to their race. This form of ignorance is still around, but hurling abuse at anyone who is conservative, white, not a member of a minority or whose sexual orientation happens to be heterosexual (how passé) is displaying the exact same sexism/racism in reverse. This is the same contradiction that claims intolerance by enforcing tolerance.

In fact, SJW ideology is predicated on the most hackneyed contradictions sourced from its postmodern philosophical roots and which are sometimes so obvious it’s almost comical. Almost.

When feelings are facts, sexism, mis-gendering – whatever suits the hysterical SJW’s purpose – then literally anything can be twisted into an excuse to virtue-signal for a standardized “equality” > conformity. Unfortunately, this unhealthy mix of unthinking ideology and emotional histrionics (which is even more apparent with young women who appear to make up the majority of the SJW camp) results in a deepening of inequality, and empowering only the vampiric nature of victimhood identity. It creates new tears in the fabric of an already traumatised and infantilised society by accentuating social divisions and intense resentment.

This radicalism has not only emerged through left-liberal progressivism but thrives on the emotional drama of “us and them” and the subsequent promotion of violence and vindictiveness. Despite the default enemy of the alt. and ultra right, even moderate liberals and conservatives (in fact anyone who doesn’t agree) become the demonised “other” simply because they represent an alternative view. One only has to look at Facebook rants and Twitter storms to how this righteous indignation can go viral in a very short space of time.

For all those young activists who are actually prepared to make the effort to read, research, contemplate and to observe themselves in relation to the world, this hijacking of peaceful civil disobedience is a most dangerous dynamic to be unleashed. It is dangerous because it is sourced not from the love of Truth but the love of conflict as a salve to a troubled self. This phenomenon neuters the creative power of conscience in the young; their hope, their ideals and their potential to provide solutions and by subverting it into nothing more than a tool for the maladjusted it therefore proves useful as another tool for the Establishment. When protest feeds on fear and toxic emotions it can be maneuvered to where it can be of best use, in much the same way coloured revolutions can be fomented for regime change in any given country.

(Expect the SJW to be triggered by the term “coloured” revolutions. This is not a joke – that’s the level this craziness has reached).

Thanks to SJWs and their enablers, the United States and parts of Europe must now cope with a culture war designed to irrevocably confuse millennials about their sexuality, ethics, morals and values, which results in greater ethnic and political divides and turns us away from Establishment culpability. Most importantly, it ensures that young minds identify with extremes of mob rule or suffer from being sandwiched between two poles of  pathological hypocrisy.

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The Hissy Fit Generation and the Loss of Free Speech VII: The Subversion of Social Justice (1)

By M.K. Styllinski

How can Free Speech be conditional? (Photo: Michael Barera Wikimedia Commons)

“The intellectual battlefields today are on college campuses, where students’ deep convictions about race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation and their social justice antipathy toward capitalism, imperialism, racism, white privilege, misogyny and “cissexist heteropatriarchy” have bumped up against the reality of contradictory facts and opposing views, leading to campus chaos and even violence.”

— Michael Shermer


We have explored the toxic effects of postmodernism; the change in culture and left-liberal politics toward infantilism; the influence of cultural narcissism and the role of social media in shaping the younger generations. Now, we’ll have a look at how all these various factors are producing a singular form of millennial activism in our universities and colleges.

Social Justice, it seems, has gone the same way of so many traditional beliefs and traditions in society in that it doesn’t necessarily refer to upholding justice at all. Rather, it has become another way to virtue-signal and reinforce a tribal grouping above and beyond reason and facts. After observing this phenomena over the past several years it is still stunning to behold this level of cognitive degeneracy when faced with the vocal and often violent forms of this new activism – the Social Justice Warrior or SJW.

A term which began as a positive description of young activists was later used as a pejorative term by their detractors. It describes those who prefer emotion and group-think over reason and truth, whilst claiming the latter. They are the natural – often well-intentioned – product of all that’s been discussed hitherto. This umbrella term is equated with left-liberal issues which typically include (what used to be) socially progressive views such as 3rd wave feminism, multiculturalism, gender equality, identity politics, sexism, racism etc. Unfortunately, all of these issues are riven with assumptions, myths and opinion which have been propagated as fact by the MSM.

SJWs gained notoriety in the wake of the Trump election for their inability to accept the result and engaging in monumental hissy fits as objective reality came crashing down. The fact that this was, in all probability one of the rare occasions that democracy actually functioned made no difference at all; it didn’t match their reality so a collective tantrum ensued and the pathology of the SJW was seared into public consciousness. The Trump election acted as one collective macroaggression that triggered all those fully invested in a social justice that was based on a misreading of reality. It didn’t matter that Hillary Clinton is a criminal and sociopath, Trump was the personification of everything that the left loathed – the facts be damned.  Therefore, nuance and Deep State realities were irrelevant, if knowledge of these issues even featured at all. As one mainstream media presenter commented after the result: “Everybody is crying and so upset – it is the end of their world.”

Boo-hoo.

Or as another feminist pundit put it: “Get your abortions now, because we going to be fucked and we are going to have to live with it.”

Charming.

We then have the radical left and “anarchist” group Antifa who sit alongside SJWs and have about as much to do with true anarchism as reality TV has to do with talent. Both are utterly bereft of any semblance of creativity and thrive on sensation. This group therefore represents the subversion of true activism and civil disobedience which, until the coming of age of millennials, was still relatively focused, even as recent as 2010. No longer. The dark side of the left has been fully unleashed and has remained on show ever since. Now that the Dark Triad appears to have successfully taken over, it’s no wonder that so many are re-evaluating what “progressive” and “left” really means today.

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The Hissy Fit Generation and The Loss of Free Speech VI: The Jekyll & Hyde of Social Media (3)

Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash

“People will accept ideas presented in technological form that would be abhorrent in any other form. It is utterly strange to hear my many old friends in the world of digital culture claim to be the true sons of the Renaissance without realizing that using computers to reduce individual expression is a primitive, retrograde activity, no matter how sophisticated your tools are.”

  — Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget


Censorship and Fakebook News

Since the fake news trope has been doing the rounds Facebook is now the Establishment’s social media tool of choice to combat the rise of alternative news outlets, as well as more mainstream but editorially more responsible news rooms such as Russia’s wildly popular flagship news network RT.  Under the banner of “tackling fake news” Zuckerberg’s crusade is the perfect platform for the terminally offended and the easily swayed by the vast echo chamber of predominantly left-liberal delusions that make up Facebook’s political discourse. News is further filtered, sanitised and put through the algorithmic grinder of FB’s ideology.

It doesn’t matter whether you are left or right leaning in your views  – one political belief censored in favour of another is bad news for free speech and democracy. Indeed, in late 2016 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided to employ a few websites that would have the honour of labelling stories as “fake news” according to an agreed media consensus. These include ABC News, Factcheck.org and PolitiFact, and the so-called myth-busting website Snopes.com. According to conservative website The Daily Caller there is a problem:Almost all of the writers churning out fact checks for Snopes have a liberal background, and many of them have expressed contempt for Republican voters. The Daily Caller could not identify a single Snopes fact-checker who comes from a conservative background. Snopes did not respond to a list of questions from The DC regarding the site’s ideological leaning.” [1] Match this with Facebook curators and you are unlikely to get unbiased news, rather  it will be selected according to what is deemed acceptable to modern day, left-liberal thinking. As discussed previously such thinking is no longer the kind of leftism that values free speech but has slipped into opinion-hungry authoritarianism.  

Debunking spurious news stories is less admirable when it comes from mega-corporations who are walking in step with Establishment, the cogs of which are greased by psychopathic perceptions. Thankfully, a large proportion of the public are simply not buying it.[2] This is due to the hard evidence provided by independent media of the very thing of which it has been accused: propagating lies and fake news propaganda. This is what makes it so painfully ironic. The mainstream media is, and has always been fake news. It has been caught red-handed, with its pants down  on numerous occasions, peddling sometimes subtle psyops and on other occasions ludicrous BS that would have made Machiavelli cry with shame. Whether it’s 24hr fear-mongering, Deep State anti-Russian propaganda, paid-up editorials, or the ping-pong of culture wars,  the MSM has been at the forefront of the most atrocious fake news for many decades.

Facebook has elected to take on the “disinformation” circulating from alternative news outlets and conveniently forget the most obvious examples of fake news which was spread by most of the corporate-chained MSM. The explosive details of tacit media support and collusion for the Clinton election campaign exposed in the Wikileaks Podesta emails and by The Intercept was purposely omitted and suppressed by Facebook, Google and Twitter as a matter of policy – policy which is founded on personal opinion of their CEOs and shaped by the Liberal arm of the Establishment.  This included drafting news pieces and handing them to suitably “friendly” media plants dotted around MSM outlets. [3] An internal strategy document dated January 2015 reads: “As we discussed on our call, we are all in agreement that the time is right [to] place a story with a friendly journalist in the coming days that positions us a little more transparently while achieving the above goals.” [4] All of this and more was happily shared on social networks with Facebook as the primary disseminator.

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The Hissy Fit Generation and The Loss of Free Speech VI: The Jekyll & Hyde of Social Media (2)

“It is no longer possible to stand up for all speech.”

Sinead McSweeney, Twitter’s vice president of public policy and communications for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

***

“The First Amendment doesn’t protect a user’s speech on a private company’s site. On the contrary, the First Amendment protects Facebook’s right to say what can appear on its platform.”

— Jack Smith, Business Insider


Whether we have our faces glued to the smartphone in the street or feverishly checking our Twitter and Facebook accounts on our lap top at work, face-to-face interaction is fast being replaced by social media, which has society built around it. These networks offer steadily diminishing returns on social investment since a large proportion is rooted in self-promotion, self-admiration and the endless noise of opinions. The latter is drawn from a long since compromised mainstream media that has the audacity to charge alternative media with propagating “fake news,” a meme expressly created by neo-Cold War strategists within the Deep State to counter the non-existent presence of Russian interference in US elections. Opinions therefore are useful for creating emotional capital  and the noise of distraction for the rest of us, so that intel agencies can continue to extract all the data they want.

Meantime, young adults are having to cope with an economic time-bomb; the legacy of poor parenting and a lack of play; minimal contact with nature and poor social skills. On top of a pervasive technology that is re-wiring the brain from easily accessible hardcore porn to virtual and highly superficial forms of exchange which, by their very nature, “optimise” and “compress” information down to soundbites. The pace of information exchange and the ratio of quantity over quality means that the highs and consequent lows are making addicts and infants out of many millennials and Generation Zer’s. The neuro-hacking of culture over the last few decades has given us a crisis in the young, now exacerbated by social media and smartphone technology. Yet, such technology is here to stay. So, can we turn it around and apply its true potential?

First, we must dig deep in order to find out what’s truly going on.

***

Facebook, more popular than Google, is now herding over 2 billion users and growing faster than any year since 2012. According to Tech Crunch the platform hasn’t lost its popularity with”66 percent of Facebook’s monthly users return each day now compared to 55 percent when it hit 1 billion.”  The social networking giant has an enormous influence on young minds and society as a whole in ways we are only just beginning to fathom.

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered his new mission statement to “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” This has to get the prize for the most disingenuous statement since George W. Bush claimed he was bringing freedom to Iraq. The world is getting closer together all right but we ‘ain’t holding hands. Rather, we are giving over our freedom and the very kernel of our minds to a new form of corporatism and surveillance. Analysts can barely keep up with how Facebook and other social media platforms are literally redesigning our lives and psychology.

As smartphone usage attests, there are voluminous studies indicating how social media (Facebook) is bad for your health. A family member often tells me: “Time just seems to disappear when I’m checking Facebook…It’s like I’m under a spell!” Two hours almost seem like two minutes. Yet, they frequently come away feeling exhausted rather than inspired. Why? University of Kent psychologists wrote in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology that compared to general internet use Facebook and its related stimuli can lead us to underestimate time. Although general internet use has the same effect, Facebook was the  worst offender for such time distortion. The distortion of time locks us into a greater exposure to social media and internet surfing than we realise, suggesting that our mind is in a specific state of addictive suggestibility.[1] They found that it was Facebook-related images that changed how we pay attention to this visual stimuli, and likely plays a significant part in the rise of internet addiction as a whole.

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The Hissy Fit Generation and The Loss of Free Speech VI: The Jekyll & Hyde of Social Media (1)

By M.K. Styllinski

“Social media spark a revelation that we, the people, have a voice, and through the democratization of content and ideas we can once again unite around common passions, inspire movements, and ignite change.”

― Brian Solis, Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web

***

“Ignorance meets egoism, meets bad taste meets mob rule.”

Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur


The above quotations from writers Brian Solis and Andrew Keen are equally valid. Social media has already offered enormous benefits to connect, share and liberate humanity. It has revolutionised business as a marketing tool and allowed us an instantaneous global reach. Yet, technology – as everything else – always presents a choice between a Jekyll or Hyde application. Which perception and allotted values gain dominance will logically characterise how it develops. The internet and social media is still very much driven by the same pathology of Mr. Hyde that has been bludgeoning ordinary humanity into submission since the rise of the oil industry to the emergence of big data as the new oil. Consequently, Hyde is subsuming Jekyll at a faster rate with its moral character disappearing fast.

Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple surpass the national GDP of many countries and have more overt and covert control over our lives than the State – if indeed there is much difference. Monopolisation is too weak a word to describe how these companies seek to dominate our lives through the kind of advertising, marketing and data capitalisation that is literally predicting our every move. We are becoming the new algorithms in a vast simulation of global consumption and predictive analysis. This is inseparable from the National Security State and its SMART surveillance infrastructure. The new frontiers of social media are redefining communication fully enmeshed in the propaganda of eco-SMART cities of the future and the visions of the technocrats.

The 1960’s saw a genuine revolutionary spirit of inquiry and an expansion of awareness which was comprehensively hijacked by the Establishment. Now, we have the same commercialisation, consolidation, centralisation and control (the 4C’s) appearing in the 2000’s to divert and re-direct the enormous creativity present in humanity in partnership with this technology. To do so, the Establishment and its agencies must ensure that generations of young adults are suitably disconnected from perennial values and re-connected – even addicted – to technology as an end in itself; to be made to believe that their lives and their eco-SMART future is inevitable. Social media and its communication and consumer platforms are part of this agenda, about which most of us are wholly unaware.

“But I couldn’t do without my smart phone…”

And that’s how it works. Tweak society just enough so that such tools become indispensable because infrastructure, economics and commerce is built around it.  Once again, technology is not the problem, it is those with the money and mindset that determine its trajectory. The reasons why must be  understood in order to have the choice to resist such impositions. Our freedom of mind depends on it.

Before we get into the murky world that is Facebook, this somewhat lengthy post will start with the new human appendage granting entry into social media – and just about everything else – the smart phone.

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The Hissy Fit Generation and the Loss of Free Speech V: Infantilism in America and Beyond

By M.K. Styllinski

Let me tell you about Preschool Mastermind, a daycare for adults in Brooklyn, N.Y. It is not, as I had thought, an April Fool’s joke or even a fetish den but an actual thing. Tall, hairy, wrinkled Americans — I’m assuming they have jobs because you can’t get student loans for kindergarten — pay a grand to recreate their happiest times, spending their days as four-year-olds: fingerpainting, show-and-telling, playing musical chairs, napping with a blankie and a Fig Newton.

— Heather Mallick, ‘The growing childishness of American adults’


Columnist Heather Mallick quoted above comments on mass infantilism and political disengagement which can only lead to the erosion of our civil liberties. She highlights a recent interview of whistleblower Edward Snowden by John Oliver of The Intercept who took a camera to Times Square and asked people who “Edward Snowden” was. Not one person knew. However, when asked if it was okay for the NSA to store photos of their genitals  they were vehemently indignant. As Mallick observes: “This is how you get toddlers upset; you mention swimsuit areas.”Hugely important issues that strike at the very heart of our freedoms barely register, unless it’s to do with personal shame.

The freedom to exhibit one’s tackle and the shame of it being viewed (with probable hilarity) by State minions certainly throws up a tangled mess of mixed Freudian messages….

If you think the world is going insane then you can be sure that much of this is due to an inability to process deep change and the horror of having to confront one’s own psychology in the face of uncertainties and shocks. The net result of cultural narcissism means an arrested emotional development which has led to a widespread absence of maturity and responsibility. Nonetheless, you don’t have to be a pathological narcissist to find yourself grappling with such things. Since we live in such a culture, it is probable that all of us have had to confront narcissistic traits and various degrees of trauma in order to truly move forward with our lives. As those who have finally tackled such an ambitious objective can attest – it is not a pleasant experience, which is why those exhibiting symptoms of infantilism find it doubly difficult to claw their way back to adulthood without some appropriate form of therapy. For older individuals who have spent a life time sucking on the dummy of victimhood and entitlement this may be a tall order indeed, since it has become their personality with little room for change.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of an adult is “a fully developed and mature: grown-up”. What does it mean to be grown up? Robert A. Hall’s article in the American Thinker gives a suitable description of what an ideal adult might be, taking into account that none of us can live up to this ideal all or even some of the time. The key is to strive to do so, both for yourself and your children since they will follow your example and define the next generation. He lists several descriptors which define a normal adult including: resilience; patience; disciplined; openness; consideration; supporting themselves and their family; altruistic in day to day life and most importantly, they do not take on a victim status but cultivate a sense of responsibility. In a word: true adults have integrity; they have a healthy ego that is kept in check by humility knowing that it’s not all about them and they are aware of their weaknesses but strive to overcome them. As discussed previously, many parents and the cultural cross-currents under which they were immersed in the 60s and 70s were exposed to a range of detrimental social changes which ultimately did no favours for them or their children.

Marketing Infantilism

Our body-centric focus is certainly over-developed alongside an elevated egotism. This infantilism is presiding over the male-female removal of body hair to the normalisation of paedophilia in law and academia. We are seeing generations of men and women who are personifying the psycho-spiritual chaos that has been wrought over the last several decades through emotional impairment, missing certain stages of neurological development through experiences in childhood and beyond. Factor in social engineering, postmodernist inculcation and a legion of other psychic pressures, the concept of adulthood has been twisted out of shape to induce a total reliance on the State for all one’s provisions. The government as provider of social welfare has fed into an assumed right to be taken care of, further eroding the potential of community and the lost creative power of people to nurture, support and nourish each other financially and spiritually.

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The Hissy Fit Generation and the Loss of Free Speech IV: The Narcissism Factor (2)

“…the oversensitivity of individuals today, including political correctness and microaggressions, all stem from this idea that people operating under the notion of the pristine self view you as evil because you are showing them something other than love.”

— Howard Schwartz, professor emeritus of Oakland University,


Continuing from the previous post which looked at how narcissism defines our present culture, and how it may feature in the younger generations of today. We now turn to the main sources manifesting normalised cultural and/or personality narcissism and its perpetuation.

Here are six key areas:

Parenting

We have to differentiate between cultural narcissism and the kind of abuse that comes from neglectful parents or what is called the narcissistic family. In the latter, this is a form of emotional abuse or covert narcissism sourced from one or other of the parents’ needs and desires taking precedent over the child’s. From an emotionally deficient family life the child’s sense of self is warped leading to intense shame since the expectation of a nurturing environment is absent. Psychologist Joseph Burgo describes this trauma and arrested emotional development as a result of “disappointed expectations”. When the genetic inheritance that offers a “blueprint of normality” is disrupted in the child, he knows at a deep level, that his  fundamental development has gone awry and he feels insecure and unsafe. Burgo explains: “instead of instilling a sense of beauty, an abusive or traumatic environment leaves the infant with a sense of internal defect and ugliness.” [1]

This sense of disgust and shame at the self has huge implications for the processing of feelings and social functioning. However, such covert narcissism is likely not the primary cause of the cultural narcissism we are now witnessing. There is very little empirical data to support it, whereas more modern studies show clear evidence that inflated feedback is the primary cause. In other words, the conditioning of overpraising and over-protection, where the child or infant is told over and over again that s/he is special and unique.

Telling a child that s/he is super smart and intrinsically special has been taught for several generations. Far from providing a healthy self-confidence this focus has encouraged a prince and princess syndrome; a generation of entitled, spoiled children with little defence against the objective realities of this world. Such well-intentioned coddling often results in a role reversal where the child becomes precociously “adult” and the parent reverts to child-like infantilism due to the dominance of the child’s personality – a wholly abnormal state of affairs. Far from feeling a deep-seated shame, the child genuinely believes that s/he is special and superior since it comes from a learned behaviour of entitlement – wired into the brain.

Although authoritarian parenting is most certainly not the answer, the pendulum has now swung toward the opposite extreme where indulgence misinterprets nurturing. Discipline and structure is an essential part of a child’s navigation and learning, but such an “old-fashioned” view is now shunned in favour of letting the child do and have exactly what s/he wants; where the child is constantly love-bombed with no boundaries or limits. And when the child or young adult eventually faces the real world he comes face to face with the fact that his love-cocoon, this pristine self has programmed an essential weakness in the face of life’s vicissitudes. Far from creating self-reliance and resilience this parenting creates the exact opposite, namely, a generation of “snowflakes” where all aspects of living are seen as a form of bullying and act of offence.  The capitulation of university campuses when confronted by these collective hissy fits only makes matters much worse.

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The Hissy Fit Generation and the Loss of Free Speech IV: The Narcissism Factor (1)

By M.K. Styllinski

Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

Chuck Palahniuk


We live in a culture that promotes degrees of narcissism as though it were perfectly normal. Indeed, the core of American exceptionalism and NATO warmongering is large-scale abusive narcissism, so it is little wonder Americans are being confronted with a choice to become part of that pathology or to resist it. It is that resistance by our younger generations that may define our future.

So, are millennials inherently narcissistic? Absolutely not. In fact, the common belief that millennials and Generation Z are narcissistic by default is often sourced from older generations like the Baby Boomers [1] many of whom happily gloss over the fact that it is they who are largely responsible for the psychological conditions now surfacing in the young. Many findings are reflective of a mixed bag of societal conditioning that points to generational confusion and a loss of meaning more than any one overarching psychological condition.

Postmodernism and its viral-nihilism has a lot to do with the suffering of millennials. Similarly, clusters of narcissism may emerge in certain groups like the SWJ’s for example and other forms of radicalism, but this is quite different to labelling a whole generation as inherently narcissistic. Such a ready conclusion might even exacerbate the problem. It is more probable that they have common narcissistic traits as symptoms of Official Culture which feed into a host of other mental conditions. So, it seems the extent of this “narcissism” within the millennial generation and Generation Z is still under question, though evidence is growing that this condition is pervasive to some degree or another.

One study carried out by Joshua Grubbs, a clinical psychologist at Case Western Reserve University, millennials and BB’s and older were asked to rank generations on their narcissism.  Millennials came in at 65.3 on a 100-point narcissism scale, rating themselves as 61.4.  Grubbs’ study found that despite admitting that they had narcissistic traits they didn’t like the label of narcissist and felt it to be a “putdown.” They also, (unsurprisingly perhaps) rejected accusations of arrogance, selfishness and vanity. Yet, if we are told something often enough we may come to believe it whether this is overstated or understated. This may have an effect as they grow older.  Or as Grubbs stated: “Over time, the ‘narcissistic’ label could impact how millennials feel, their mental health (and) their attitudes about themselves and general generation.” [2]

Interestingly, it was classic narcissists that didn’t mind the diagnostic label and according to Grubb: “..there are very few of them.” He believes that it is more a case of individualism than overt narcissism, though speaking generally his study led him to conclude that: “on the whole, people of my generation probably are more narcissistic than in past generations.”

This is a real diffculty: if these generations do have a predominance of narcissism, then a constant reiteration of this label may further entrench the condition. This has been proven to be so in a variety societal milieus in my own experience from prison inmates to ethnic communities.  If you are told you are an offender often enough then you may come to believe it, especially when the inducement to remain under such a category is more compelling than constructive change, which often lacks social support. Falling back into victimhood isn’t useful either, but since that too is encouraged in our social systems we have a complex vicious circle which is sadly not broken by adopting multidisciplinary solutions.

It is also true that an entitlement complex in the millennial generation is on the rise. A University of Hampshire study found that “youngsters scored 25 percent higher than people aged 40 to 60 and 50 per cent higher than those over that age bracket.” [3] [4] Which may explain why millennials suffer increasing anxiety and stress when they don’t get their own way. It is also evident from Grubbs’ research that millennials “experience more anger, frustration and sadness over the  [narcissism] label than other generations”. The fact that it bothers them shows that the majority of millennials are not suffering from classical Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) but incorporating the traits of narcissism as opposed to full blown pathology. And Official Culture thrives on promoting narcissistic habits and values. Again, postmodernist philosophy and left-liberal politics is instilling false expectations and the stress and anxiety that comes with it; not least from a depressed market for work and job satisfaction. Match this with a socially encouraged infantilism it can only lead to the rise of a lost generation, rather than an inherently narcissistic one, though obviously these lines are very blurred.

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The Hissy Fit Generation and the Loss of Free Speech III: Millennials and Generation Z

“My life feels like a test I didn’t study for.”

– quote from a Millennial


“…if this nation has any chance of survival, of carrying its traditions deep into the 21st century, it will in no small part depend on members of my generation, Generation X, the last Americans schooled in the old manner, the last Americans that know how to fold a newspaper, take a joke, and listen to a dirty story without losing their minds … We are the last Americans to have the old-time childhood. It was coherent, hands-on, dirty, and fun.”Why Generation X Might Be Our Last, Best Hope’ By Rick Cohen, Vanity Fair

I am also part of Generation X. We experienced life without the internet, emails, cell and smart phones and navigated through different challenges and struggles, from the revolutions and socioeconomic upheavals of the 1970s; the celebrated greed of the 1980s and the structural transformations of the 1990s. The same challenges exist for today’s young adults but with many more layers of social and cultural complexity. Technology, under the direction of the social engineers is only making things worse, since it offers yet another form of addiction on top of intense political and ideological interference, all of which is channelled through these younger generations who have almost no defences against it.

I found making sense of our Official Culture immensely challenging during my twenties and early thirties manifesting as depression and panic attacks, the struggle of which took up most of my sense of self. It eventually required serious soul-searching and the confrontation of the root causes of these fears and traumas in order to move forward. I was lucky to have assistance in that endeavour even if it was a form of “tough-love” to get me to the place where a more objective perspective was possible. Such a process is deeply unpleasant; often like a form of dying as emotions are healed and the old, false self of programming and egoic survival is stripped away. This takes time, effort and a lot of patience, which is one reason why it is so assiduously avoided.

So, I have sympathy with the psychological crisis that millennials are facing and how important it is that they are given the information and assistance to turn their lives around. But it will be monumental task.

When children have been brought up to be narcissistic and entitled through no fault of their own; where society itself normalises those same qualities, young people have to attempt to navigate through such a morass of conflicting messages and superficial dross that it is no wonder they are floundering. Millennials have (literally) everything at their fingertips but wholly attached to unrealistic aims and ambitions, but detached from social skills and dynamics that would build and sustain them through the inevitable challenges they must face. In one sense, we are witnessing a re-run of the 1960s, that surge in potential awareness of what could be…This time, a genuine millennial passion is shackled by prior conditioning, an unstable  foundation that is constantly shifting beneath their feet making it all but impossible to orient themselves. They have been brought to believe themselves special; nurtured to anticipate and expect great things, but they do not have the inner resources to match the outer reality. Hence, the internal or external “hissy fit” when expectations fail to match that reality, be that from differing views or workplace demands.

When seeking to analyse and appraise younger generations and the challenges they must face, there are no doubt plenty of exceptions to this rule and a great many young adults who do not fit into the following psychological profile. Yet, it seems there are not enough, otherwise we wouldn’t be having the symptoms rising up in our youth that we do. Similarly, the following is not designed to rip apart millennials in order to feel better about my own generation. It is concerned with pin-pointing the problems in order to achieve clarity and possible solutions. The older generations have a  responsibility to assist those who come after since, as parents, we have also played a part in shaping them. With the right kind of mentoring and the right kind of knowledge, they might develop the self-awareness and life skills they need.  Building that knowledge-base will be up to them, as will  facing their fears and discovering their own higher nature and creativity within.  Our collective future depends on it.

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