Grownups Only, Please

I am tired of dealing with children.

If I were merely speaking of actual children the statement would be accurate enough, but I’m mainly talking about people who are legally adults and yet continue to think and behave like children. For many years I have humored these people when I come across them, but that ends today.

I can no longer stomach the continual complaining of those who feel that they are automatically entitled to everything in the universe when they have done nothing to earn it. When you’re in your mid-twenties, living at home with mommy, and working part time at the Olive Garden, you are not going to be able to afford a brand new Acura TL and your parents have no obligation to buy you one. Live with it.

Worse, I am tired of people who mismanage their money and refuse to take responsibility for it. If you overextend yourself and buy that Acura on a part time Olive Garden salary (or buy expensive guns, computers, and vacations you can’t really afford) don’t start with me about your inability to buy food and pay rent. You dug the hole, you dig out. Everybody has lean times now-and-then, but ultimately it is your responsibility to manage your finances like an adult.

And I am tired of listening politely and attentively when you twenty-somethings complain about your ‘overbearing’ parents who have the nerve to expect you home before 3:30 a.m. and charge you a nominal rent to live in their house. If you really don’t want to pay your mom and dad $150/month and have a limited restriction on your activity, why don’t you get a real job and pay the $800 or $1,000/month rent to an apartment landlord who won’t tell you what to do.

“But Scott,” you say, “some people can’t just get a real job because they don’t have a degree!” I say bull. There are real jobs available to people without degrees (in the armed forces, for example, among hundreds of other options). Not to mention that, if you really try, you can get a degree too. Maybe taking out a student loan would make a lot more sense than buying an Acura TL for about the same monthly payment.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect everybody to be in the same lucky position I’m in. But I do expect a modicum of self-sufficiency from people who are five or ten (or fifteen or twenty) years into their legal adulthood. You are not a child any more, it is time to stop acting like one.

And, if you continue to act like one, don’t expect me to be your sympathetic ear. Melissa and I have both worked very hard to get where we are today—we’ve been lucky, but we certainly didn’t have everything handed to us like you so often assume. You’re not going to have everything handed to you either. You and you alone are responsible for your own successes and failures, and you’re going to have to get that through your head if you want to get anywhere in life.

“Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one’s own person is its ultimate reward”—Patricia Sampson.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.