In society today we are programmed to believe that we need to grow up, have a family, get a good job to support this family and save for retirement so we can relax in our elder years. We are trained at a very young age that once we are an adolescent, we need to start growing up and thinking like an adult. What is an adult? I think I am one and this has always confused me. Parents tell us to be more responsible, “get a job”, “grow-up;” … But then we hear “Life is too short,” “Seize the day,” “Live in the now!”
I want you to close your eyes and visualize what an “adult” is supposed to look like.
Was the adult you thought of wise and responsible or was he/she fun and playful? Who said an adult needs to be all wise with no fun? Can’t we be both?
I agree that as we get older there is a need to be more independent, go out in the world to find ourselves, be responsible and not rely so much on our parents and grandparents. But, we are forgetting that just because we are grown-ups doesn’t mean that we don’t continue to grow up and make mistakes. We, too, fall and get up and try again. And to be honest, as I grow and learn, my goals and dreams change. What I wanted out of life last year is different from what I want today. I think that is why they say “live in the now” because NOW is what is right in front of us. We don’t know what tomorrow brings and every single day is different.
A wise person (OK, it’s Oogway in Kung Fu Panda) said it best: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a GIFT and that is why it is called the PRESENT.”
(Photo courtesy Boians Cho Joo Young, freedigitalphotos.net)