If there was a door into adulthood, that door would be named ‘Childhood’. Actually, there is a door into adulthood and it is called childhood. It would be quite an occurrence if a woman pushed out a full grown bearded male child or a full haired female. It would easily hit all the news channels on the planet.
I think it quite strange that we as children long to be adults, you know, drive the cars and sit sipping from glass cups as we discussed with visitors. I remember as kids, I and my siblings will dress up “adultly” and sit on the sitting room seats, sipping from our plastic cups and trying to discuss ‘business’ in mock adulthood. There was always that desire to grow up and it was encouraged by the frequent questions of “what do you want to be when you grow up?”I remember replying “I want to be a chief!” at one point. I wonder where I got that one from.
Curiously when we do grow up into adulthood we envy children who can afford to whirl through life without a single care in the world. The responsibilities of adulthood do not quite turn out to be the same things we fantasized about. The truth is that both stages are equally relevant to the development of an individual, neither is a more important phase.
In this writing I intend to draw a connection that I feel we have totally neglected or refused to focus on. Have you noticed that no one judges a child? Everything a child does can be easily chucked up to “he is just a child” or “she is just a child”. Clearly that is not the case with an adult it seems rather that everything is judged from how you speak to how you dress. A child speaks or acts funny and he is adorable an adult speaks or acts funny and he is weird. What is responsible for this seeming change in attitude? The answer is found in the variance in expectations that are placed on these two groups.
I have taken some time to reflect on these things and it has struck me with a rather profound simplicity, the reason for this; “the child becomes the man”.
What this means is that childhood is a necessary phase that leads to adulthood and it is in that phase that the adult is actually made. I am saying that a successful adult is one that was made as a child.
What then is this craze of “I am an adult now?!” I was watching a Hollywood comedy recently and a young single woman had gotten herself pregnant and her elder brother was incensed by it. He was insisting that she marry the one who was responsible, but she wasn’t willing to. At the heat of the conflict came the voice of reason in the guise of her aunt, “Steven, you can’t force Jane to marry him” she said, then she dropped the golden bullet, “You have to realize that they are both adults now and can make their own decisions”
Wow! Off course adults can make their own decisions surely, that is the point of adulthood; independence, but what then is the point of childhood? One of the most frequent things you hear an adult or a parent say to a child is “No! Elena you can’t touch that!”, “No! Fred you cannot go there!”, “Sandra! I am leaving, make sure you do not disturb daddy, he is working”. Why is it all usually prohibitive and restrictive?
I know that a lot of new age parenting models have come to the fore expressing that we must stop telling kids what not to do and rather tell them what they can do, it has a way of ‘opening them up to their potentials’. There must be some truth in there somewhere, but I will not bother lending my views seeing as the products of that philosophy have not proven a desirable specimen. I would rather ask “why do we or why should we tell children what not to do as kids?” Its because they are children and you are the adult and so it is presumed that you know what is best for them while they are still children (this can be argued in some cases).
What am I getting at? The whole point of the nature of childhood is not to restrict or even to protect children, but to create proper adults. A child is born “tabular rasa” they say and this is why they are given parents to “program by modeling”. This is why “Hey Junior I don’t want to ever catch you smoking cigarettes, they kill” said in between long drags on a cigarette is useless parenting.
There are far too many young adults who seem to have breathed for the first time when they turn 18 and then proceed to do everything they hadn’t been allowed to up till that time. This is quite unfortunate because they seem to have missed the whole point of childhood and in my opinion still qualify as children.
Why else do we have an alarming number of adults living reckless lives like their minds are on self destruct? I used to be fascinated by a hot pressing iron as a child and I was taught the hard way by the adults around me that it would harm me. I learnt. Clearly, I wouldn’t go caressing it today, because I learnt!
So you are 18 years old and you are now an adult? That somehow means that you can get drunk, have loads of sex, get pregnant, gamble, smoke, steal and explore your curiosities right? If that is your view of adulthood, then you are legally an adult, but actually a child. This is why many end up in prisons, restricted again, because they hadn’t quite merited their freedom.
You are now an adult and can make your own decisions, you know what’s best for you right? That would be true only if you properly understood and embraced the point of childhood.
My advice? Be a child and then you can be a successful adult or I could also say; “Listen in order to grow”
So what goes wrong with adulthood?- Childhood, that’s what goes wrong.
Happy new year TruthFam!
I would like those who feel this is a worthwhile message to drop their comments and share too. Peace!
That’s some truth on Truthoscope!