American culture does a good job of creating, idolizing, and then rewarding, young men who are convinced of the following life principles:
- Life is a party. Rock on.
- You’re the master of your domain. You get to decide how life goes. Others are at your service.
- You’re special. The rules that govern others don’t apply to you. You get a pass.
- You’re invincible. You’re forever young. You’ll avoid the natural consequences of injury, illness and aging.
- It’s all about you. You’re the center of the universe. Grab it.
In 2008 Michael Kimmel wrote an extremely informative book entitled Guyland in which he defined an American sub-culture, males 16-26. These are young men who “shirk the responsibilities of adulthood and remain fixated on the trappings of boyhood, while the boys they still are struggle heroically to prove that they are real men despite all evidence to the contrary.” p. 4.
Kimmel was prophetic, but he may have under-estimated the age range of Guyland. It seems too often to apply to older men who ought to know better.