Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse has a new book out called "The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis — and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance." For Sen. Sasse, emotional and intellectual maturity is essential for the future of our nation and our culture. He describes an American crisis of loneliness and disconnection and self-absorption. He challenges parents to stop the cycle of coddling our kids, keeping them from hard work, and giving them a false self-esteem. He calls upon parents to take back responsibility for their children's upbringing from schools who have taken over too many responsibilities from the family -- especially the forming of values. He urges parents to help their children to resist consumerism. He is also a tireless champion of reading.
His book echos the calls of many who condemn the celebration of adolescence that is rampant in our culture and encourage a return to adulthood. The mark of adulthood is not self-centered living but the opposite -- a life lived for others, a life of hard work willingly done, and a life shaped by responsibility and accountability. What is seldom mentioned in reports about Sen. Sasse is that he was raised a Lutheran, was president of a Lutheran college, and speaks of the very large part faith plays in his and his family's life. Why it seems like a very good advertisement for the good old Lutheran doctrine of vocation!