Have you ever thought how strange it is that people in our society seem to relate mostly to their own age or peer group? Isn’t that odd?
Of course you DON’T think it’s strange or odd, because that is how most of us grew up, as did our parents, grandparents, and possibly even great-grandparents, depending on which generation we are part of. From the very beginning we were grouped by age, and that is what everyone has always expected ever since. What we eat, wear, do and believe depends largely on what others in our age group are eating, wearing, doing and believing. That is the standard.
It’s interesting that this is not only true of teenagers like we might think, but of every age group out there that is old enough to be programmed this way. Here in Central Florida every winter we see retired people congregating around shuffle-board courts and socializing with, guess who? Their peers.
If we step back and study the history of the world, and various cultures void of Western influence, we see that peer dependency as we know it may be stranger than you think. The philosophy behind placing peers together was promoted by G. Stanley Hall, a champion of modern humanism. It is based on the theory of evolution.
So, is this a problem? If you look at the fragmentation of the family in our society, and realize that Western values teach us that peers are more important than the family unit, it points to some problems this value system has caused.
Elderly people are not valued for their wisdom and experience, and most of them adopt the same outlook, considering themselves a bother to the younger generation rather than possessing valuable assets to contribute to the success of those following after. Where are the patriarchs of old with vision for making a difference in the lives of future generations? Most consider themselves to be “done,” and their remaining life dedicated to personal interests. What a loss!
This brings us to consider our uncertain future. How many of us are preparing or not preparing based on our peers? How much influence are peers having on our beliefs about what the future may hold? Are we surviving peer pressure?