Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age by Susan Neiman, 231 pages
In a world that sees growing up and growing old as bad things, should we go along with these beliefs or are there reasons to think and act otherwise? That is the main question that Neiman considers. She argues that growing up and growing old are good things.
Along the way she defends some of the criticisms of the Enlightenment. She invokes Rousseau, Kant and Hume to argue for what growing up should be. Most people think it means being resigned. It is easier to be immature and social structures keep us childish.
Why Grow Up? "The short answer is: because it's harder than you think, so hard that it can amount to resistance - even rebellion." She recommends taking education into your own hands, limiting your time on the internet or taking time off, living in other countries (which would be hard for most people -even if you follow her cost effective method), and finding work (not just labor) - possibly a trade, even if it isn't what you do to make money. The benefits of growing old include: Studies have shown that we get happier as we get older, we have a growth in aesthetic pleasure and we gain the ability to use judgment. Growing up means changing parts of our lives if we are not living the life we want.
I may not have been the best person to read this book because I already believed in the value of maturity. It would have more value for a teenager or young adult. It was still worth reading as she presented information and arguments that I hadn't been exposed to before.