What does it mean to adult? To be an adult? There is no clean simple answer to so big of a question. Here is a part of an answer. Time’s wasting, let’s begin.
To be a level 2 adult, you have to first clear level 1, and know how to provide for yourself.
This is left intentionally open-ended, because what is useful depends on your culture, time, and your community’s needs. In most places and times, it boils down to having a job of some sort. The importance of a job for adulting is not that it makes money, although that is quite important.
The real importance is that careers and jobs provide a repeatable way of creating valuable things for others. If you make plumbing parts for a living, every day you turn up, do the same job, and new plumbing parts are the result, which in turn enables others to build and fix houses, and provide for water supply. That is very useful.
Doing something useful means to provide structure and meaning for your own life, and to have some form of direction. It has nothing at all to do with money. Most people would agree that a person supported by a trust fund who plays video games and goes to parties all day is clearly Level 1 Adulting, but is failing to do anything useful.
After you can take care of yourself on level 1 – to adult at level 2 does not require you to take care of others, but it does require you to create more in the world than is required to sustain you. Homo sapiens have real practical problems to solve in this world related to survival. And if we’re all just scraping buy, bigger societies are just not going to work.
If on the other hand each individual grows outward and provides more than is necessary to sustain themselves, you get tremendous growth and plenty, enough to make a real society. The surplus that is created can then be used to do whatever that society deems the most useful.
You have an individual part in this.
Do Not Operate in Absolutes
As with Level 1 adulting, this is not an absolute. There will be times when layoffs, economic recessions, and all sorts of other things occur. This is about doing something useful over the net years of your life, it is not a stoic blood oath about next Tuesday and every day afterwards.
It all begins in adulting level 1, where without level 1 – the consequences are immediate, personal, and often severe. Level 2 is a continuance, as an adult becomes a full member of society, productively earning a place in it.
But as there are consequences of not reaching level 1, there are consequences of not reaching level 2 as well, which are:
- Loss of public esteem
- Loss of personal esteem & self-worth, as people often struggle with their own value when they are not at level 2.
- Loss of enfranchisement, or community membership, and ability to be a deciding voice in community matters