From Dave: Chip has fun further reflections on stage theory. We've been on kind of a stage-theory binge recently, so I think we'll make this our last post on the topic for at least a little while. But I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts!
My wife Laura and I were discussing stage theory the other day and she was expressing concern that stage theory itself may be too simplistic, and that it could also be employed to label and judge others. "Wow, my friend Margaret is so stage 2!" "Can you believe how stage 3 Frank is?" These seemed like good concerns to me as I myself am no fan of simplistic thinking (or judging others for that matter).
Finally she asked me directly: "Well what stage do you think you are primarily in?"
Remembering how Peck says we usually have a hand or foot in each of the stages, that none of us are purely in only one, I began thinking about how this might play out within me in real life. (Plus this line of thinking was a good stalling tactic to help avoid answering the question with the ever-humble "I'm obviously and squarely stage 4 all-the-way sweetheart.")
So if we really do have different "stages" at work within us at any given time how does that play out in our actual daily lives? Do we perhaps respond to different situations in ways that could be identified? Is my thinking in regard to my work stage 2, my church stage 3, while my thinking toward my family is mostly stage 1?
Or let's take for example any situation I am faced with during my day, perhaps something that elicits a response of some kind from me. Here is a rough draft of different possible responses aligned with the possible stage they may be closely identified with: