Human Development Theorist Erik Erikson postulated “8 Stages of Development” throughout the lifespan. Erikson’s stages of development highlight markers of success and failure within each stage.
There are five stages in childhood: one stage for adolescence, one for young adulthood, and two stages for adulthood. For this writing, the focus is Middle Adulthood. Middle Adulthood is for the ages of 40-65 entitled: “Generativity versus Stagnation.” There are two paths: either we contribute to our world and society, or we stagnate.
Generativity versus Stagnation is the 7th stage of Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development. During this time, adults strive to create or nurture things that will outlast them, often by parenting children or contributing to positive changes that benefit other people. Contributing to society and doing things to benefit future generations are the important needs. Generativity refers to “making your mark” on the world through caring for others as well as creating and accomplishing things that make the world a better place.
Stagnation refers to the failure to find a way to contribute.
Characteristics of stagnation include being self-centered, failing to get involved with others, not taking an interest in productivity, no efforts to improve the self and placing one ‘s concerns above all else. People might reflect on their accomplishments and consider their future trajectory and feel regret. Those who suffer from poor health, poor relationships and feel that they have no control over their fate are more likely to experience feelings of stagnation.
In summary, there are two paths. We choose the path we follow. If we contribute to the world, we will get the life satisfaction we need for success. If we do not, we are stagnated. The good news is, it is never too late to change your path.
Remember my friends and readers, embrace 2 Matthew 7:13-15: “There are two paths before you; you may take only one path. One doorway is narrow. And one door is wide. Go through the narrow door. For the wide door leads to a wide path, and the wide path is broad; the wide, broad path is easy, and the wide, broad, easy path has many, many people on it; but the wide, broad, easy, crowded path leads to death. 14 Now then that narrow door leads to a narrow road that in turn leads to life. It is hard to find that road. Not many people manage it.”
Love God and all people. Amen.