“I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had.” ~ Margaret Mead …
What Margaret is so beautifully stating here is that growing up is unnecessary and truly overrated. I tend to agree, for in doing so, many of us sacrifice much more than we gain. Imagination and creativity are substituted with emulation, imitation, and rote. The innocence and wonder in which we see the world is lost, and the things that make life magical, special, and amazing fade away.<!–more–>
In thinking back over the transitional years of my childhood, I notice a stark difference between the period when I saw things through the eyes of innocence, wonder, and optimistic expectation, and when I felt that I needed to judge things that I had never needed to before. Many of the little joys in my life that once excited and amazed me no longer seemed to affect me, and my ability to see the world in positive ways decreased in relation to the negative things I now began to see. One thing I noticed was that the more aware I became of my transitory happiness, the harder it was for me to find it and keep it. The simplicity of life became all the more complex, and I began to expect more from others which made my relationships more complicated. In addition, others expected more from me which placed added responsibilities upon my shoulders as I felt obligated to become more “adult-like” so as to better fit into this adult world.
The coolest thing about Margaret’s line of thought is that she embraces her inner child. Whereas some might find it insulting to be viewed as acting, thinking, or feeling like a child… she finds it beneficial. And because my child-like memories in life are often my most enjoyable and fulfilling ones, I find her view on growing up quite appealing. Not to mention how much my children seem to love me for being able to let that part of myself out.
Pablo Picasso once said something to the effect that it takes many years to become young again. And personally, after spending some years getting lost in adulthood, I can happily say that I have begun to find my child-like qualities within myself again. And my family seem to love the fact that I am able to let out my inner child, as it adds so much to all of our lives.
Find and experience your inner child.
Questions to consider:
Why do we start to think that being like a child is a negative thing, and that growing up is such a positive thing?
How might we go about reclaiming some of the child-like qualities that we have left behind?
Who said that being fully grown up is such a great thing. Were they right?
For further thought:
“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” ~ unattributed