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TSE  September 2003

TSE September 2003

Subject:

Re: OT - Sort of - Immaturity

From:

Victoria McLure <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Thu, 18 Sep 2003 10:43:47 -0500

Content-Type:

multipart/mixed

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (118 lines) , vmclure.vcf (14 lines)

Sounds like this could be applied to a number of administrators in higher ed.,
also!

Victoria McLure

"Bob S." wrote:

> The following is written by a psychiatrist comparing the administration with
> immature teenagers. His analysis and definition of immature behavior will
> be of interest to some list members.
>
> Bob Summers
>
> Copyright 2003 The International Herald Tribune | www.iht.com
>
> An administration that thinks and acts as a child
> John A. McKinnon IHT
> Wednesday, September 17, 2003
>
> Analyze this
>
> MARION, Montana Troubled teenagers fail at the tasks of a modern adolescence
> because they try to solve sophisticated problems with an unsophisticated
> approach whose elements routinely include a childish sense of time, lack of
> empathy, florid narcissism, selfish ethics and concrete logic.
>
> They are usually not stupid, nor ill - not the kids I'm talking about. But
> they fail across the board - at school, at home and among their peers -
> because their approach is childish.
>
> I point this out because I want to talk about adults, and specifically about
> the Bush administration and its "approach."
>
> Temporarily (under stress) or chronically (for those who never grew up),
> adults can think like immature teen-agers. To persuade you, I'll describe
> this flawed approach:
>
> Present and Future: Immature teen-agers think the future a destination to be
> reached by magical thinking. They want to "be" astronauts, but see no reason
> to do tonight's algebra assignment.
>
> Present and Past: Immature teen-agers think the past a fairy tale not
> usefully connected to the present. You can't teach them history.
>
> Lack of Empathy: Immature teen-agers treat "friends" with consideration, but
> only if they dress the same way and can be imagined to think and feel "just
> like me."
>
> Narcissism: Immature teen-agers are selfish, self-preoccupied, self-oriented
> and self-important. If they want it, they think they're entitled to have it.
> And so they don't need to ask, and if they ask they don't think the answer
> has any business being no, and if it's no they are entitled to badger,
> bully, blackmail, bribe or or attack to compel compliance. For there is only
> one person in the relationship - "me."
>
> Selfish Ethics: Troubled teen-agers often think they ought to be allowed to
> do as they like and take what they like, and that it's all right to do so if
> they can get away with it. In pursuit of self-interest, they are shameless.
>
> Concrete Logic: Immature teen-agers are so impressed that they no longer
> believe in the Tooth Fairy that they congratulate themselves for "realism"
> when they ignore (because they don't yet understand) mature ethical
> abstractions such as honor, tolerance, integrity, the environment, or the
> good of our community. Mistaking metaphor for literal fact, they have little
> sense of humor, but insist upon concrete interpretation of rules and other
> texts, even when such concreteness betrays the spirit of those rules.
>
> I have no wish to be rude, and I recognize that neither political party has
> a monopoly on childishness. But I can't help seeing in this description a
> synopsis of the Bush administration's approach.
>
> Whether the administration is talking about medical care or tax cuts,
> homeland security or social welfare, energy or the environment, democracy
> (in Florida, California, Iraq or the West Bank) or the separation of church
> and state, or the liberty of citizens and the rights of prisoners under the
> Constitution, the approach has been arrogant, self-important, unempathic,
> careless of the future and ethically primitive.
>
> In this election season, the maturity of our approach to national and
> international affairs ought to take priority over party, class, race,
> region, creed or personality. Inasmuch as the maturity of our leadership is
> an American issue, it should unite us.
>
> We might even agree that we need an approach that includes clear, plausible
> goals embedded in coherent, fully debated plans before actions are taken
> that affect our children's lives, our resources and our honor; a firm grasp
> of history's haunting of the present, its constraints upon future options;
> true empathy, not patronizing sentimentality, for those not like us; respect
> for others and other nations; a social ethic that soars above greedy
> immediate self-interest; a quiet respect for integrity, separateness,
> privacy and liberty, and a sense of humor, irony and humility.
>
> Why does this matter so much?
>
> First, because a childish approach fails. It doesn't even work for high
> school sophomores. There is no reason to think it will work for our nation.
>
> Second, because even in high school others despise strutting narcissism,
> personal obtuseness, bullying relationships and selfish ethics. Faced with
> arrogance and selfishness, others refuse to help us, passively resist,
> applaud our humiliation and disdain all those associated with that
> arrogance.
>
> As we come up to elections for legislative seats and for the office of
> president, let's put aside partisanship so as to rise above party labels and
> disgraceful sound bites. Let's see if, together, we can elect and re-elect
> those who think and behave like adults.
>
> The writer, a psychiatrist, is co-founder and chairman of Montana Academy, a
> residential school for troubled adolescents in Montana.
>
> Copyright 2003 The International Herald Tribune
>
> _________________________________________________________________
> Express yourself with MSN Messenger 6.0 -- download now!
> http://www.msnmessenger-download.com/tracking/reach_general

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