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Podcast #280: Why Growing Up Is a Subversive Act | The Art of Manliness

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Looking around, there seems to be a dearth of grown-ups in our culture. We put a premium on seeming cool and hip and will spend inordinate amounts of money to retain our youthful looks. Meanwhile, being known as “mature” has become something to avoid entirely, as it signifies you’ve become a boring, stogy old coot. As a result, we’ve got a lot of folks in our society who are adults by merit of their chronological age, but don’t appear or act as such.

But what if growing up doesn’t mean you have to be boring and lame? What if becoming a grown-up is actually a really rebellious act?

That’s the argument my guest today makes in her latest book. Her name is Susan Neiman and she’s the author of Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age. Today on the show, Susan and I discuss why becoming a grown-up has gotten a bad rap, how our culture — including smartphones — infantilizes us, and what the Enlightenment thinkers Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Emanuel Kant can teach us about how to become a grown-up. Susan then goes on to share ideas on what you can do to feel more like an autonomous adult and why embracing that role is such a subversive thing to do.

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