Friday, August 14

like a child

I recently told someone I needed the opportunity to "act like an adult".
It was all about proving to them I had matured, grown up...that I'm not reacting like I used to when they knew me.

And suddenly I hate the phrase "act like an adult".

I believe it's been used in a number of settings, a number of ways.  I also believe saying it implies you will "act better" or more appropriately.  Grown up, somehow.

Well, I must say, I know lots of adults who still act very poorly.  Adults still throw tantrums--They yell, they argue, they complain when things don't go their way.  They look for rewards and awards.  They compare and make sure their projects are better and toys are bigger.

(Listen to me say 'they' like I've never committed the crime.)

Also, for the most part, adults know what they are doing. They know when they have hurt someone, thrown someone under the bus, or done something inappropriate in public.  They feel it--the shame, the embarrassment, the hurt you caused on another.

Kids, though, they don't know.  They're acting out in some way so their basic needs will get met.  Sure, sometimes they see one of those "adults" reacting and responding and they feed that monster a little more. But, in general, those emotions are raging and tears just seem like the best, fastest option.

So, that's my point here; we ALL act out.  We all get upset when things don't go our way.  But kids, on the other hand, have something special that those "adults" do not.  They dream and play and imagine.  They create worlds in their minds, friends with all sorts of appendages and colors, and horses which have unlimited powers.  They love, too.  And often, they love really well, giving of themselves to others in ways which make the 5 o'clock news.  They smile and laugh at every opportunity.  They imagine worlds where love really is all you need, along with a little ice cream and a puppy.

So, my hats off to you guys.  I want to live in a world with ice cream and puppies, too.  A world where, sure, I do act out because I'm human and humans just have some silly habits.  But also a world where my priorities are love and play.

I long for the day where someone looks at me and says, 'Would you act more like a child?'

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