Copyright © Michael Clark, 2013.
In daily life and on the web as the administrator at Earthpages.org I’ve come to realize that adults can often be childlike (nice) or childish (not so nice).
Most of us can probably remember times when we’ve been more childish than childlike. After all, who’s perfect? Only insane people, sociopaths, cult leaders, the brainwashed and, perhaps, the narrow-minded among us seem to think they’re beyond reproach.
I’m neither a theologian nor a psychiatrist, but this chart borrows from both of these perspectives. It outlines the concepts of childish and childlike as ideal types, much in the style of the pioneering German sociologist Max Weber.
In other words, they’re devised on the basis of everything I know–or rather, on everything I think is relevant for this post. They may not be rigorously empirical but they should, at least, be though-provoking.
|Desire to control everything||Trusts God, Higher Power or Life that things will work out as they should|
|Can’t tolerate uncertainty||Understands that we can’t know everything|
|Arrogance: Self is seen as the main source of power and achievement||Humility: Confidence comes from faith in God, Higher Power or Life|
|Reckless and irresponsible or, alternately, redundantly cautious||Open to sensible innovation|
|Authoritarian and manipulative personality type||Possesses and respects legitimate authority, wisdom, etc.|
|Wants others to be just like him- or herself||Encourages individual difference, freedom|
|Hypocrisy – Idealistic moral expectations/ judgments about others but not for him- or herself||Understands that we’re all imperfect beings living in an imperfect world|
|Frequent bouts of cynicism, pessimism and hopelessness or alternately, grandiose fantasy||Maintains a reasoned sense of optimism in spite of life’s challenges|
|Mean-spirited humor||Good-natured humor|
|Projects own faults onto others and won’t assume any responsibility for his or her mistakes, nor learn from them||Able to take responsibility for mistakes and learn from them|
|Irrational thinking with weak discernment skills||Rational thinking and strives to discern what is and isn’t from God|
|Thinks everyone is out to get them, which can become a self-fulfilling prophecy and full-fledged paranoia||Able to love while maintaining ego- and cultural boundaries|
|Habitual and remorseless dishonesty with others||Strives to be honest with others|
|Unable to consider another person’s perspective – translates into lack of empathy and compassion||Able to consider another person’s perspective – empathetic and compassionate|
|Sweats the small stuff, can’t see the big picture||Tries to keep an eye on the big picture and not sweat the small stuff|
|Backwards focus – Inappropriate attachment to the past instead of integrating memories with present and considering future possibilities||Present focus – Able to let go of the past when appropriate and integrate memories with present while considering future possibilities|
|Intransigent||Willing to compromise for a perceived greater good|
|Xenophobic||Lives locally while thinking globally|
|Will engage in unsavory clannish behavior rather than be ostracized||Has the courage to be him- or herself on important moral issues, even if this means risking rejection by others|
|Resorts to bullying (threats, hostility, aggression) when upset||Prefers diplomacy to bullying|
- Sliding into the new year (mclark.wordpress.com)
- Kierkegaard: Childish Orthodoxy (withalliamgod.wordpress.com)
- Using Children To Pass Gun Laws Is Grotesque And Childish (forbes.com)
- “Abba” Is Not “Daddy” (Part 2) (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
- little wonder. (ayshanicoleblog.com)
- Childlike Visions (themarriedmonk.wordpress.com)
- 10 Tools and Tutorials For Creating Childlike Illustrations in Photoshop (downgraf.com)