How Old Must We Be to Function in Society
After going over the recent reading on Locke, a question arose on when parental power ends, and we are given the right to function independently in society. Locke uses the age of 21 as his example age, but is this a fitting age? Should we consider something younger like 18? Or older perhaps say, 25? This is a question that will bring up nearly as much debate as that of a legal drinking age, but it must be considered.
I understand the fact that after our birth, we have no rhyme or reason of the world around us. We grow up believing what our parents tell us, and what little political issues are discussed in our presence we have an automatic attachment to our parent’s ideals. However as we grow older and our brains begin to think more diversely, we start to shape the way we as an individual think about the political world around us. The parental power is still there, but we begin to protest it in the back of our minds. Locke feels that when we reach this ago of readiness, we achieve this personal freedom, and are now bound to the likes of the commonwealth.
I disagree with the generic age of 21 that Locke gives. Why not 18? I understand in those days that there was no generic number as we have today for adulthood, but do our minds not develop at a much younger age. Personally, I feel that in the years of high school (ages 14-18) our minds go against the norm of society, and we begin to progress through society into adulthood. Readiness for personal freedom comes much before the age of 21. Many of us are ready at the ages of 16 to drive and accept the responsibility of transporting others, therefore how are we not ready to accept the laws and regulations of the commonwealth? Readiness is a growing theme throughout the centuries. For instance, when cell phones first came out, only our parent’s had them, now our 10 years old little brothers and sisters are texting their thumbs off. Maybe it is a generational issue, but I feel that even in the days of Locke, young philosophers as himself were ready for this personal freedom far before the age of 21.
I feel that parental power ends at the point we show a readiness to go against our parent’s beliefs and form our own political opinions. At this point we are ready for our own personal freedom, and ready to become part of the commonwealth in order to better the society.