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I have five children and have watched them develop by platforming their own key stages with distinctive signposting:

  1. Gone is the crying to get attention and the understandable (at that stage) trait of thinking just of themselves.
  2. They navigated those early years where for a short period biting their kith and kin to get the toy was the hard currency of communication.
  3. On widening their social perspective they were able to learn from the less than positive trials and tribulations of others that preceded them. Although it seemed on occasions that they sought the pain of that learning experience more directly and personally.
  4. As an early teen (or pre-teen) they settle on a tenuous persona and exposed it to the world with much histrionics.
  5. The adolescent tantrums eventually subsided and they said good morning back as a grown up around their late teens. At this stage their pre-frontal cortex having sufficiently developed allowed them to take poise, assess, judge and not react so impulsively. They had developed from grub to butterfly, their ears matched in proportion to their head and they didn’t seek to be different by all dressing the same. They had a confident independence of mind and were, as well as they could be, comfortable in their own skin.

They’ve grown up as you would expect as a parent, by learning the lessons of the prior stage and using these as a firm foundation or springboard for the next stage. They learnt at each stage of their development, not only how to interact in society but just as importantly what was not acceptable anymore. All this under the watchful eye of their parents, their peers and their older siblings. 

I can report that there have been no Benjamin Button style regressions of note to date, which makes us very proud parents indeed.

There are some obvious pattern similarities in the world at large and in macrocosm geopolitical developments are much like those of a child’s journey to adulthood:

  1. We evolved from the crucible of our prehistoric stage which was all around replete with fear, terror and the possibilities of a sudden painful death. Our baser instincts asserted an egocentricity that matched the red in tooth and claw nature of the world at large. To get attention (and to survive) asserting an abundance of masculine bigness and personal brawn was the requisite cry to supremacy.
  2. Coveting thy neighbours ass (for want of another useful aphorism) was the dominant call to arms. Violence was the currency of personal and enduring growth to get the possessions of others, until it wasn’t.
  3. In times of excess, as humankind transitioned from hunter gathering to agrarian societies we learned that trade was an enlightening and levelling proposition. This was the seed of civic and collective social organisation. Individuals had to give up some degree of freedom for the greater betterment of broader society. We were tentatively learning that sharing is good and reciprocity yielded great gains for us personally. Collectively we learnt that cooperation rather than eternal peer conflict provided for greater personal rewards. We learned to work together and consequently benefited from a wider wisdom.
  4. Societies organised as a persona into hierarchies, some feudal and some more inclusively communalised. Wars were collectively waged with nationalistic or imperialistic bents. Pomp and circumstance projected an air of monarchistic entitlement glaze to the masses with the added justification of a divine right.

In our collective human development this is where we are today, still in late juvenile development. We are tettering on the edge of teenage emo style self harm and destructive impulses. The parent, in this case the UN, is asserting parental control over Russian nationalistic juvenile impulses. The legislature and judiciary in the US are acting to chasten Trumpist / GOP toxic and collective masculinity. What we are witnessing today are those necessary human growing pains in worldly governance form. These will eventually propel us as a world society into adulthood if only self harm doesn’t take us all from this mortal coil in the process.

I’m confident that the day will come soon when those societies and individuals, that are still at their own retarded pace kicking and screaming into adulthood, will say good morning back to the world as a butterfly.