Some time ago I put some notes together on in my personal notebook on achieving adulthood, based upon some of my experience with the young adults I’ve dealt with at work. I don’t have any scriptures associated with them, although many of them could be derived from the scriptures. But much of what I’ve written is more in the way of good advice, and if I understand Colossians 3:16-17 and the book of Proverbs correctly, it’s possible for us to share wisdom graciously, as long as we know that the Word of God comes first and foremost.
Here are the kinds of things that I put down for things that need to be learned besides vocational skills and a vocational choice. I wasn’t seeing much of them in some of the young adults that I saw at work. I don’t think that this is post-50 crankiness; I’ve read that adolescent irresponsibility is now becoming characteristic of young men and women well into their late 20’s. It’s being called Adulescence now, and I’m seeing these things even in some who are passing 30.
* Learn to live and partner with another adult, to pursue common goals and activities. This should be a roommate or close relative rather than a romantic interest or another person of the opposite sex.
* If long-term romantic relationships and marriage are part of your long-term desires and goals, learn to understand the opposite sex outside romantic situations. Observe the common and uncommon habits and characteristics of your friends and relatives of the opposite sex in your daily life, so that you can get some understanding before a romantic haze hits.
* Learn some basics on cooking and food preparation, simply as preparation for being able to run one’s own household. Learn also how to clean and take care of your home, starting with your first dorm room and apartment.
* Learn how to handle money by following a budget, looking for bargains and working and saving ahead for major purchases.
* Learn respect for others, and how to work with those who are different from you.
* Learn respect for the property of others also. Don’t damage or destroy what is not yours intentionally or through negligence. If you do damage something which isn’t yours, attempt to provide compensation. If you borrow something, remember to return it, and return it in the same condition or better than when you borrowed it.
* Learn respect for the privacy of others. The heartbreaks and embarrassments of others are matters for compassion and confidentiality, and are not necessarily things that you need to know.
* Learn respect for the time and schedules of others, by punctuality and sending regrets and cancellations if unable to keep an appointment.
* Learn respect for the feelings of others, by avoiding unfair fighting, lashing out at trivial offenses or rudely refusing mild suggestions.
* Learn respect for the convictions and opinions of others even where you disagree. A difference of opinion is not a reason to begin a relentless battle of wills, and scorning, baiting, ridiculing and browbeating someone with whom you disagree does not lend credibility or any weight of persuasion to your position, but the opposite.
* Learn how to broaden your interests and understanding by asking questions, being willing to learn new things, and being willing to continue to try again if you meet with any kind of initial failures.
Feel free to expand, contract or modify what I’ve put together here, or try them out on or forward them on to your friends and relatives (I assume no risk in that situation, and I will forward you a signed statement disavowing any consequences upon reception of the first complaint). I believe that these were just some thoughts at the end of a slow day. It’s possible that these are lessons that some of us had to learn later in life, since since young college educated adults may seem to think to have a corner on the intellectual answers, that they don’t get the answers that they need in practical things of daily life.