Where Maturity Prevails

“Children may be delightful, may be interesting, may be ever so full of promise, and one may be as fond of them as possible — and yet when one has them for warp and filling, one must get a bit bored with them now and then, in spite of oneself. I have had little to do with children, so I speak under correction; but I should imagine that one would become bored with their intense simplification of life, their tendency to drive the whole current of life noisily through one channel, their vehement reduction of all values to that of quantity, their inability to take any but a personal view of anything. But just these are the qualities of American civilization as indicated by the test of conversation… I can imagine, then, that one might in time come to be tired of them and to wish oneself in surroundings where man is accepted as a creature of ‘a large discourse, looking before and after,’ where life is admittedly more complex and its current distributed in more channels — in other words, where maturity prevails.” (Albert Jay Nock, The Decline of Conversation, 1928)