Sunday, December 3, 2023
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Grown ups who could never grow up


By Kanika

By definition, growing up refers to the ability to respond to the environment in an appropriate manner. It encompasses being aware of the correct time and place to behave and knowing when to act, according to the circumstances and culture of the society. Well, but for most of us growing up equates to getting a driving license. But does that ensure that a young adult has actually turned into a mature person??

Most people do not grow up. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old we carry accumulation of years in our body and on our faces but the mind is still immature.

The first realization of growing up comes when we choose a career path and love what we do. Confucius proclaimed “choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Right now, the two metrics of success that drives the workforce are money and power but, by themselves they make a two legged stool-fine for balancing on for a short time but after a while you are headed for a fall. Nowadays, students are running after degrees, taking admissions into prestigious institutes for, MBA and many other professional courses. After completing their education they are bound to do what they never wanted to which leads to frustration and exertion .They are dissatisfied with their lives. They need to understand that ultimately, success is not about money or position but about living the life you want and not just the life you settle for. Experiment with different careers and find the one that you enjoy the most. If you are a change maker then start a socially responsible business. If you like kids, be a teacher. If you like being an expert then you should be a lawyer, professor or consultant. If you enjoy talking to people be a salesperson or go into the service industry. The majority of students end up in careers unrelated to their major. Working in careers that you enjoy is a part of becoming a mature person.

Every now and then we come across these questions “I can’t believe this happened to me , why do bad things always seem to happen to me??” or “why every one else seem to succeed where all I can do is fail every time?”. Yes certainly, we all have that one single thing in life which makes us feel “life is so unfair”. It is, indeed, now what? On and on we don’t run out of examples of where we have been treated unfairly. As a child I can understand but as an adult, it seems like we get stuck in the childlike thinking. Life is a never ending game of learning. It will be wrong to think that just because you deserve something doesn’t mean you will get it. You may be the perfect student, yet your professor may still fail you or you may be the best employee but your boss may still hate you. Psychologists call this “irrational thinking” or a “cognitive distortion”. This specific distortion is called the FALLACY of FAIRNESS. It basically says that somewhere in our head, we sometimes think like a child that all of life “should be fair”, but if it isn’t so what now? You can spend your energy and get stuck in that recurring thought or you can accept that general truism that no way can the universe keep a universal, balanced tally for everybody at all times. Realize and accept these things as the inevitable truth of life. Keep your goals in sight, stay happy and light and do not let the unfairness of life demoralize you. Life is tough and everyone else has had to overcome obstacles, why can’t you seem to figure it out. Learn to grow with the unfairness of life.

Stop being selfish! Remember that toy in your childhood which used to be your favorite and you could share almost every other toy with your sibling but that. It is time to share that toy with everyone so, it’s time to grow up now. Thinking about others and not just yourself is next step towards being a real grown up. Try to develop empathy for other people and living creatures. Allow yourself to imagine how they feel, what hurts them or makes them happy. Little steps can really make a difference. For example don’t ignore, take advantage of or make fun of people of in a walker or a wheelchair. Slow down or help them instead of just cutting in front of them. Be generous and respect others.

Mistakes are an evident part of our lives. No matter how old you grow, you can always make mistakes after all “To err is human “. But if you make a mistake own up to it and learn from it. When we were kids we were so used to saying “he did that, it wasn’t my mistake”. Hiding your mistakes or blaming them on someone else is another sign that you have not grown up yet! When you do something and it results in good consequences, you won’t want to blame someone else then, will you? You are your own person and make your own choices. Other people can influence your choice but in the end it is still YOUR choice and you have to face the consequences be it good or bad.

A sunset is beautiful, but it lasts only so long. Once it is over it is over. In time, perfection is tainted by life’s beautiful blemishes and every perfectionist dies a thousand deaths. We often look at the things we enjoy-the relationships, the experiences, the possessions and we want to hold on to them forever. We expect that these things will continue to add value to our lives, day in and day out. But not everything that adds value today will add value tomorrow. We must be willing to LET GO. We should let go of superfluous excess in our lives, starting with the dusty belongings inhabiting every nook and cranny and dark corner of our homes eventually, moving on to the more difficult things no longer adding value to our lives. As much as we might want to, we’ll never be able to hold on to a sunset. Likewise, we can’t retain everything and still lead meaningful lives. Life is fulfilling only when we allow ourselves to be in the moment, when we allow ourselves to feel the moment. After all this moment is life’s only reality. We should stop living with post mortem then only we can experience the real maturity within. And for those who feel guilty about things and those who have fallen but forgotten to get up. Try and forgive yourself for those things no need to hate yourself even more than Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus for a payment of 30 silver coins. LET GO and grow with the course of life.

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly that is we grow partially. We are mature in one realm and childish in another .The past, the present and the future mingle and pull us backward forward or fix us in the present.

It is always about the journey and not the destination. Enjoy the never ending process of growing up and while you grow up know your real self because real happiness lies within. Love yourself and life because it is worth it. All the very best for your journey ahead and HAPPY JOURNEY to all of you!!!



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