Do we need a ceremony to cut the cord? Is they why kids don’t leave?
Today is inauguration day. There is a huge ceremony in Washington D.C. to send Donald Trump back to New York and move Joe Biden into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Am I watching this huge waste of money?
So why do we have these goofy ceremonies? Way back when, the ceremony was a big deal. And maybe it still is. On a recent episode of Young Sheldon, they discussed a “celebration” of the young genius graduating high school early. When young Sheldon had a minor meltdown, his father asked “is this how you are going to handle college?” Right then he buckled down and pulled himself together.
Religious and Cultural Ceremony
In the Jewish community there is a celebration of manhood or womanhood. You surely know about a Bar-mitzvah and Bat-mitzvah. If you live in SoCal you can’t miss them. Hispanic families have a Quinceañera for the girls. In the jewish community the celebration is at 13, and in the hispanic world 15. Both very young by todays standards.
Once upon a time being married at 14 was not out of the question. In fact some states still allow parents to consent to a marriage of a 14 year old girl. In France there was no “age of consent” until just two years ago.
These ceremonies play a big part in cutting the cord. The “kids” arrive at the ceremony to leave “adults”. But these days they live at home and nothing changes.
For many, graduating high school is the day that marks the transition to independence. Sadly no one really explains it that way and many kids never grow up or adapt to the new independence.
Todays inauguration is about sending a message to outgoing President Trump and incoming President Biden. It is a ceremony that cuts the cord for President Trump and ties a cord to Joe Biden.
One is now the big cheese, the other is now a has been. More importantly it is to make clear to the citizens of the United States, that Joe Biden is the leader. In the old world of kings and knights, it was critical. The troops needed to know who they were fighting for. Today it is about knowing who is responsible. Sadly I don’t think any politicians are.
The New Ceremony
These days it is probably more about who is important to watch on the news, or whose name gets painted on the side of a building when people aren’t happy with the government. At least that was my experience during the 2018 riots in Paris. You will notice that the photo of graffiti on Iran Air was generic to change the people in charge.
The person who tagged the Opera House in this photo knows exactly who the president was. He apparently watched the ceremony or the information at least made it to him/her. If you missed it, Macron was (still is) the President in France.
The Change In The World
The world we live in is changing, and in many cultures the family stays together for generations. Even in those cultures, there are ceremonies to make a change from “boy” to “man” or “girl” to “woman”. Without them, how would the “boy” know it is time to go to work and provide for the family. How would the woman know it is time to find a mate, have children etc. Yes these are sexist and masochistic values, but they are the reality in most of the developing world.
Many intergenerational cultures find it very difficult to adapt to life in the US. You can’t drag a boy out into the woods of Korea town to kill an animal and celebrate the boys transition to manhood. Life is different in the first world. There is opportunity, but it requires change to adapt to it.
In my neighborhood, there are several families whose children haven’t left. A couple of these kids are in college and “live” near by but are home every day. A couple other “kids” are in their 50’s and still at home. The simple problem is they are comfortable. I left home at 17 because I was in a very uncomfortable situation. I left as a boy with no direction in life. Thankfully I went into the military and there was a group of people who took me in, and had a ceremony. I knew it was time to move on.
Do you need a ceremony to cut the cord and kick your kids out of the house? For over 200 years, the US has done it for the white house, maybe it’s time everyone give it a try. Have a ceremony, tell your kids they are grown up and it’s time they build their own next.