I’m a people watcher…a bit of an observer. I’ve always been the shy quiet type. Sure, if we’re good friends, I will talk a lot. But in a group, in person, I’m generally quiet. I like to sit back and observe what’s going on before I throw in my two cents.
I have to say that I’m often taken aback at what comes out of some people’s mouths. I’ve seen adults make fun of a child’s name and gossip as if they were still in their early teens. I’ve seen people get angry or upset over the simplest of events. Many times when someone else meant no ill will or harm. I’ve observed fights over parking spaces and arguments over where to eat. And admittedly, I’ve participated in some petty arguments in my time as well.
At what point do we put ‘childish’ behavior behind us? My young children can solve many of their problems with a simple apology. Sure, they have their tantrums too. They look to me for guidance in how to handle their emotions and I am sure there have been times that I failed them. It’s easy to lose your temper, to let anger or frustration overtake common sense and good will.
In my younger days, I suppose I assumed that adults always knew the answers. That they were well-behaved, controlled their tempers, and never let emotion get the better of them…right. I don’t know at what point I became an adult. I like to think it is when I chose to leave a dangerous relationship and took a chance on a brand new life. Although it was a quick decision, it could’ve saved my life. Or perhaps it was long before that, or even after.
What I really believe is that there is no ‘one moment’ when someone becomes an adult. There is a gradual progression in our lives when we start to make better decisions. It doesn’t happen all at once. Maybe your financial common sense lags behind while your emotions mature. Maybe it takes a gradual progression of more than one aspect before a change occurs.
Whatever the progression of events is, I know that today I feel more prepared to be an adult than I did, say five years ago. Maybe even more so than six months ago. Our learning doesn’t end when we leave school for the last time. Life will always be our biggest teacher and just like in school, you only get out what you put in. If you want the world to make you better, make you wiser, make you stronger – you need to put in the work. Work towards better decisions, a controlled temper, saying no to impulsive behavior.
I don’t have all the answers, there are many that I’m lacking. But I am trying. I’m trying to understand all the components that make me who I am. And I am striving to alter those that I don’t like. You have to understand what is wrong before you can set out on a journey to improve yourself. Through improving yourself, you improve your life.
You can’t put good into the world and not receive good in return. Just as you can’t spew out garbage and evil and not expect it to come back and bite you. At the end of the day we don’t have control over every single thing that goes on in our lives. We don’t know how long we have or what will be placed in our paths. We do have control over how we react and what lessons we choose to learn from what life presents to us.
I choose to be an adult. I choose to stop blaming the universe for the bad that happens and work on controlling the good. Striving to tell others what I appreciate about them and not what I dislike. Does it really make anyone feel better to tell them why you believe they aren’t good enough? Does it do anyone any good to tell them what is wrong with them? Sure, there is a time and place for constructive criticism, but there is no place for breaking down another person. It’s a cruel and evil act that breeds no good.
You get to choose what you leave behind in this world….make sure it’s something admirable and long-lasting…