The Truth About Adulthood

Kids think they know everything but so do old people.

What’s with kids today and their attitudes?  They seem to think they are above it all.

I suspect that, most of the time, young people act like know-it-alls because this is what has been modeled for them.  When the old fail to lead with humility, the natural response is to fight the man, the buck the system, to dis the establishment.

When it comes to being an adult, age is just a number.  The kids who focus on turning 18, on obtaining the legal status of adulthood, miss the point.  There are a few benefits that come with the magic number 18.  You don’t have to live with your parents anymore.  You can apply for credit.  Of course, that may become necessary if you are living on your own.  They can’t tell you what to do anymore.  Scratch that.  They can still tell you.  They will.  It’s just now you don’t have to listen.  Because you’re not under their roof.

As far as the law is concerned, to be legally an adult just means your folks don’t have to foot your bill anymore.  It also means that if your mom or dad act like the crazy people you claim they are and go berserk on you when you provoke them to anger that they will not be charged with child abuse.

18 means you can vote.  It doesn’t mean your candidate will win.  That is a fitting description of adulthood.  You can make your choices.  It doesn’t mean they’ll work out at all like you hope, even if you work really hard.  Being an adult means having the wisdom to accept that and move on.

There are billions of old people who don’t get it.

One of my heroes in life is my wife, Donna, who grew up relatively early.  She was 13 when her mom first started to experience the effects of what would be diagnosed as stage 4 breast cancer.  Many of what had been her mom’s responsibilities became hers.  She paid bills.  She skipped lunch to save money.  She skipped school to be with her mom at the doctor.  She stayed up late doing housework.  Homework came last and she’d spend the school day exhausted.  She didn’t complain or bring attention to herself.

There are other kids who do the same as Donna.  They are my heroes too.  There are children in the poorest parts of the world who make great sacrifices in order to provide for or even protect their families.

These are not children, they are the real adults.

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One Response to The Truth About Adulthood

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