February 8

I was wise enough to never
grow up while fooling most
people into believing I had.

Margaret Mead


Today's Meditation:

I love Margaret's line here because I truly believe that growing up is far overrated.  There are some positive sides to it, of course, but all in all there seems to be much more lost when we grow up than there is gained, especially when we consider the things that make life magical and special and amazing. 

As I grew up, my sense of wonder diminished considerably.  I looked at things with a jaded eye, not with an innocent eye, and I started to judge things that I hadn't felt a need to judge before.  I also stopped being excited by things as much as I had been excited when I was a kid.  When I get excited by something, my spirits rise and my heart soars, and I see the world in very positive ways.  But that stopped happening as much.

Relationships got complicated, mostly because I started expecting more out of people than I had before.  Of course, I had to learn how to work and then get a job--in my case, it meant many years of college, where they taught me basically how to over-think everything and then share my over-thought "wisdom" with others who also tended to think too much.  I had to say good-bye to simplicity and innocence if I wanted to "make it" in the world on adult terms.

Pablo Picasso said something to the effect that it takes many years to become a child once more.  Being a child-like adult does not mean being a childish adult.  I admire Margaret's words because she's able and willing to admit to something that most adults would never even think of, and that most adults would consider an insult if the statement were directed at them:  that she's still like a child in many, many ways.  So am I, finally, and I'm very grateful of that fact.  My child-like moments are by far my most enjoyable and fulfilling--that is, as long as I don't care what other adults say about them.  And I don't.  I'm just being me, and I have every right in the world to be me, just as I am.

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've 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.



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