We are not just here; we are here for a purpose. Can you feel that in your bones? Young people know it most certainly; we call that knowledge idealism. They know that there is a way the world is supposed to be, and a magnificent role for themselves in that more beautiful world. Broken to the lesser lives we offer them, they react with hostility, rage, cynicism, depression, escapism, or self-destruction–all the defining qualities of modern adolescence. Then we blame them for for not bringing these qualities under control, and when they finally have given up their idealism we call them mature. Having given up their idealism, they can get on with the business of survival: practicality and security, comfort and safety, which is what we are left with in the absence of purpose. So we suggest they major in something practical, stay out of trouble, don’t take risks, build a resume. We think we are practical and wise in the ways of the world. Really we are just broken and afraid. We are afraid on their behalf, and, less nobly, we are afraid of what their idealism shows us: the plunder and betrayal of our own youthful possibilities. The recovery of purpose, the acceptance of teleology into the language of science, promises whether directly or metaphorically to undo all of that.
–Charles Eisenstein, The Ascent of Humanity