Oh yeah. CM2 is now registered to vote and along with his voter registration card comes the immediate ability to know everything. Did you know that? I certainly didn't. I thought that there may actually be somewhat of a learning curve that he would want to explore and to figure out, but NOOOOO, he defintiley has the entire world figured out and he has decided what is the most important issues facing our world today.
CM2 was always a bit obstinate and a bit know-it-all about certain things, like video games. I tend to give him credence and his due when it comes to the computer as well. But when it comes to the world at large from a child who still lives at home and has everything paid for by mom and dad, nope not really going to think his perspective is a realistic view. Case in point:
During a class last semester, everyone was discussing what they thought about society. CM2 growing up with a rather privileged background thought the world was a generally good place and everything was terrific. The professor said to him, well of course you think the world is great, look where you live. Meanwhile there was a young lady in his class who comes from a very poor underprivileged background who said she thought the world was terribly unfair and that there needed to be more justice in the world. It was actually the first time CM2 was faced with the reality that everyone doesn't live like him. Oh it is in the back of a child's head all the time, but he had never faced someone who actually lived a different reality than he did. CM2 was truly shaken out of his bubble and saw the world from a radically different perspective. Yes college is a good thing and that class was quite enlightening for my child. The only problem I face now, is trying to get him to moderate his world view on many issues.
He obsesses and perseverates and rails against the machine, as it were. I try to tell him to concentrate on the issues he can effect and to work on the issues he even has right in front of him. But nooooo, I am evil for telling him such horrible things. He emailed me the other day, that he doesn't understand why he shouldn't care about things he can't directly effect. That I get mad at him for being selfish and caring about topics is not selfish....It is so hard to teach perspective taking to an 18-year-old, never mind an 18-year-old aspie. But as I mentioned before, it is not the need to learn and to know that is CM2s problem. It is his absolute unfettered belief that he has all the answers if only us stupid people of the older generation would listen...
When I was complaining about this the other day, hubby very nonchalantly reminded me that I was just the same, but about a different topic at CM2's age. "No I was not," was my retort. "Oh yes you were," he said..."But my issues had a direct effect on our lives and future," I said..OK I was obsessed with Israel and the Middle East and no I don't live there I live in the US, I am a 3rd generation American afterall.."See," hubby said. "No its different," I said. "No its not....." That's what I get for marrying into a family that is descended from a Revolutionary War hero. He has no world perspective outside the business world...hrumph....(And yes there were Jewish-American Revolutionary War heroes...and here)
I really don't give short shrift to CM2's opinions. Opinions are a valid self-esteem and self-identifying aspect of becoming an independent individual. He doesn't have to agree with my take on the world. That is fine. But considering he doesn't really get how the economy works, has never had a job or had to pay a bill, I am not so certain that his view of what is or is not important when it comes to sustaining the world "order" is truly realistic. In fact I know for certain that it is not.
Oh, heavens no, CM2 has not become a communist by any means. The boy loves his video games too much and I do explain to him that they cost real money. This he understands in fact even though he earned his money by doing chores rather than working in the hamburger line at McDonald's as his father and I did at his age. In fact, during our sojourn into ordering CM2 his new computer I had mentioned at first that he had to pay for half of it, since he wanted a super-dupper-game-player's computer rather than a basic one for school. (Read here) Now when I told him he had to use some of his bar mitzvah money he was fine with that, but when I told him he should also put his video-game earnings toward the computer and just do more chores he lost it entirely.
No way was he going to lose his video-gaming money for the computer. He had earned that money and it meant something to him. But the money he had been given and the money that has been sitting in the bank on his behalf, he really didn't mind giving that away. There was no association with that money. There was no tactile reality to that money. There was no interaction with that money.
I think in many ways that is an interesting lesson. We appreciate what we earn ourselves. We appreciate the hard work that it took to create the things we have. What we are given without effort, well that doesn't have the same meaning and association for our personhood. Yes people who need help should get it, (heck that is why I pay taxes not to enhance the bank accounts of politicians) but I think as human beings we need to be productive and to create our own environment. It is our survival instinct. Our self-esteem. Our ID and EGO demand it. CM2 is quite the example of that.
Meanwhile, CM2 has now decided that since he is a voter he will have to vote the lesser of two evils but he hasn't decided what they are just yet. Oy va voy..if the boys don't agree on politics it is not going to be a pretty year. Yes, our dinner table conversations are going to be quite interesting in the months to come. Well at least I can get them to stop arguing about the existence of God for a little bit...that will be a relief. I too need a change of topic every once in awhile.
Until next time,
Hopefully not such an evil representation of my generation as my child may think,