When we were kids, we were at the mercy of our parents, teachers, our “mature” and washed out entourage. Now that we’re grown-ups, we’re at the mercy of who we love, who we fail, what we lack, what we crave, of our nightmares, our dreams, past and future… but, despite everything, there still are times when we feel like badass superheroes.
Lawfully speaking, eighteen is the age of majority that allows us to enter into a binding contract, buy stocks, and vote.
Physiologically speaking, sixteen is the age of majority during which our sexuality reaches its full biological development.
Socially speaking, adulthood is when we’re no longer considered unaccountable for our own actions.
According to my standards, adulthood is when our sexual, intellectual, and emotional poles come together, join forces, and achieve harmony.
Now that we have a thick skin and a coarse voice, we believe we’re entitled to choose the wrong path and justify it with marketing seduction techniques and speech-making skills. We think it is okay to ignore the principles we were taught as kids because mother and the school principle are no longer here to “educate” us.
Love-hate relationships, shallow marriages, escalating discords, broken homes, foster homes, loosing consistency and loosing control, these are the consequences of having immature love affairs. For example, when couples cheat, not only do they do it because the temptation was just simply too high or unmissable, but rather because one lover partner or the other decided not to forgo playtime.
Same goes for everything else because when our soul wanes, and our willpower weakens, misfortunes that could happen next will happen. Click To Tweet
Corporate embezzlement, institutional corruption, governmental terror, political scandals, bio-hazardous wars… all these are the straight results of many of us acting as if our planet is a recreational area; guns are noisier toys, money is a monopoly sheet, freedom a stepping stone, people scapegoats, love a currency.
Bad decision-making, impulsive rashness, careless prejudice, poor sense of judgement, and getting into trouble such as trusting the wrong associate or seeking easy money can be signs of impatience and a lack of insight.
Getting discouraged at the slightest hurdle, following someone else’s lead when we’re capable of being as good, cracking under pressure, and not rising to the occasion can be signs of self-doubt and a lack of self-confidence.
And when an attentive observer calls us oblivious weaklings, callous criminals, or immature brats, what do we do? We lash out, use our fists, yell, use words as weapons, or use an actual weapon. That’s a bit evasive, aggressive, uncalled for, immature, childlike, isn’t it?
To me, an adult person is the master of himself, someone who stands for his convictions and happiness, someone who has a degree of control over his existence and destiny. For that, adulthood is a challenge of the utmost importance and urgency. Click To Tweet
In this flattering light, adulthood is a qualitative value, not a quantitative figure… a gift that is both possessed and earned, a quality that shows through one’s actions, not on his ID.
Adulthood is not necessarily the complete opposite of childhood. On the contrary, it can be the continuation of a learning process, a self-identity discovery, a unique adventure that lasts a lifetime. And that, by itself, is a privilege.
That’s not all! The best part is, once we gain a deeper meaning of adulthood, we’ll feel free – and maybe eager – to keep the Peter Pan in us alive.
What have you done with your Peter Pan? What about Folding Fox, you ask? Well, I’m doing my best to keep the communication line open.
There’s a long way to go, for all of us: the inner child, the oppressed adult, the struggling educator, the subconscious me and everyone else.
This is an updated version of the original article titled “Discussing adulthood,” placed in the Perspective section, and published in August-September Issue 2013
Photo credit: Repressed Memories by FotoGrazio via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND
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