Wisdom and the Youth vs. Adultism, continued

We continue our meditation on how the young awaken a sense of morality and justice when adults are acting badly and “adultism” rules. When adults think they alone make the rules and can rip them up whenever they like.    

Adults supporting the youth protest “March For Our Lives” in Seattle WA, 2018. Photo by DavidJLee. Wikimedia Commons.

Current headlines are shouting facts like these: An obscene war raging in Gaza has killed 34,000 civilians. A presidential candidate gives a talk to oil executives promising to dismantle environmental protections from fossil fuels if they give him $1 billion—Earth and future generations be damned! A judge postpones, indefinitely, a presidential trial about hoarding top-secret documents.

Since our previous DM addressing the youth, we have commemorated Mother’s Day and how the motherly impulse leans toward compassion, including instructing our children and grandchildren in compassion. 

Emma Gonzalez’s impassioned speech at the 2018 anti-gun rally in Parkland, FL. Video by Global News. 

Elders ought to contribute by encouraging the young who are bringing compassion and justice, through public and non-violent resistance, to war on campuses and challenging how protesting war is antisemitic.

The Cosmic Christ continues addressing the young:

Do not confuse childlike and childish. Be childlike—as I am, but not childish which is indeed something to outgrow. The childish person has no roots, no sense of the past, no respect for the future and one’s responsibility to birth it. 

Living in the ‘now’ does not mean you remain ignorant of the past or oblivious of the future—it means you bring past and future, old and young, together in you. Now. This always results in renaissance, new birth, deep vision, new energy. Expect divinity to appear and reappear as a child. Expect it in yourselves. 

Youthful demonstrators of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, 2011. Photo by David Shankbone. Wikimedia Commons.

Adults should not envy the youth, neglect them, project resentment onto them, or burden them with debts, scorched earth, scarce waters, devastated forests, dwindling species, despoiled beauty, fossilized institutions and dying democracies. Attend to the youth in yourself and you will heal your relationships with the young and with the generations still unborn. To the young I say, ‘bear your wisdom within you. Nurture it in one another. 

Start your own culture. Do not depend overmuch on adults but seek out allies among them who can pass on wisdom from living traditions of the past. Learn to be adult. Learn both history and mystery, commitment and hard work. And always play, play, play. Stay young. Like me.

’For Wisdom opened the mouths of the dumb, and gave speech to the tongues of babes’ (Wis. 10:21).


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Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 198ff, 11-34.

See also, Fox, The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human. 

And Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video meditation, click HERE.

Banner Image: Students protesting gun violence in Morristown, NJ. Photo by Tomwsulcer. Wikimedia Commons. 



Queries for Contemplation

What do you think is the primary role of Elders and how does it apply to this moment in history? Why do you think the Bible says Wisdom comes from the mouth of babes?


Recommended Reading

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.

The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human

The A.W.E. Project reminds us that awe is the appropriate response to the unfathomable wonder that is creation… A.W.E. is also the acronym for Fox’s proposed style of learning – an approach to balance the three R’s. This approach to learning, eldering, and mentoring is intelligent enough to honor the teachings of the Ancestors, to nurture Wisdom in addition to imparting knowledge, and to Educate through Fox’s 10 C’s. The 10 C’s are the core of the A.W.E. philosophy and process of education, and include: compassion, contemplation, and creativity. The A.W.E. Project does for the vast subject of “learning” what Fox’s Reinvention of Work did for vocation and Original Blessing did for theology. Included in the book is a dvd of the 10 C’s put to 10 video raps created and performed by Professor Pitt.
An awe-based vision of educational renewal.Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.

A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice

In A Spirituality Named Compassion, Matthew Fox delivers a profound exploration of the meaning and practice of compassion. Establishing a spirituality for the future that promises personal, social, and global healing, Fox marries mysticism with social justice, leading the way toward a gentler and more ecological spirituality and an acceptance of our interdependence which is the substratum of all compassionate activity.
“Well worth our deepest consideration…Puts compassion into its proper focus after centuries of neglect.” –The Catholic Register


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4 thoughts on “Wisdom and the Youth vs. Adultism, continued”

  1. Avatar

    The two ‘Queries for Contemplation’ in today’s DM about the ‘Elders’ and the ‘Babes’ remind me that these two stages of the human life cycle are very important and spiritually interrelated. During those two stages we are closest to Our Source Creator ETERNALLY PRESENT in the beginning and the end of our lives’ journey in the many births~deaths~transitions~rebirths of OUR ETERNAL SOULS’ Spiritual Journeys~Evolution….

    1. Avatar

      I posed this question on Facebook, I was asked to pose the question your website. I ask this with deep respect.

      “Do you see how a Jew can see this as a rise of antisemitism when there are anti Jewish tropes being shouted and signs being carried, when people call for an unconditional divestment disregarding the good of Israel and its people and culture. I have advocated for peace, justice and the rights and welfare of Palestinians, often drawing anger from fellow Jews, and I am appalled by the war on Gaza, but I have to tell you, I don’t see these demonstrations as a good thing right now, but as a possible existential threat. Quite honestly, Abraham Joshua Heschel word certainly be there with me, or I with him.”

      I am trying to open dialogue.

  2. Avatar

    Elders have wisdom from experience, and their function is to pass it on and support young people in their good actions. Babes have the wisdom of innocence and can speak the unaltered truth, until they get “socialized” into a culture of phoniness and lies. Both are close to their true self, I think.

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