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Unify and Celebrate the Age of Majority

Comment 7th July 2010

Tradionally there used to be a definite transition from childhood to adulthood. The old "I've got the key to the door" at 21. Most societies have marked such a transition.

These days we have different age limits for different rights and the transition has become, to my mind, blurred; the rites of passage abandoned.

I believe that we should consider bringing these separate age lines together. The age at which you can drive, smoke, join the armed forces, consent to sex, vote and so on. Perhaps at 17 or 18. We should encourage a formal rite of passage to be held to mark the transition from child to adult, solumnised by a Church for those so inclined, by secular organisations to those that prefer that.

Why does this matter?

This last government in particular has been marked by a tendency to treat children as adults and adults as children. It seems to me to have long been an increasing trend. At the same time we have people who never leave the parental nest. Never properly grow up.

Rites of passage are important because they get it into people's head, at a much deeper level than reason, that things have changed. A rite of passage to adulthood would help the parent reliquish control, the new adult take up responsibility. The prospect of a well celebrated transition would, I think, take some of the pressure of children to do stuff prematurely.

 


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