Not So Eager to Age
I believe that growing up is overrated. Children are by and large the happiest people on the planet. They still have the boundless optimism, the incredible enthusiasm, and the fearlessness that most kids are born with but lose over time. Their lives are still simple, and everything is a new and exciting discovery. Kids are still eager to learn, eager to try, and eager to please. They haven’t been influenced by world events or society’s peer pressure. Kids are the lucky ones.
There is nothing wrong with growing up, taking responsibilities and facing reality. There is something wrong with losing faith in the race of man. There is something wrong with losing passion for the little things in life. There is something wrong with forgetting how it felt look at the world as a place filled with possibilities. This past Spring a couple of friends and I went to the Washington Zoo. They watched me with amusement as I raced from fence to fence to see all the animals I could. More than once I have been compared to a little kid at the zoo. I do not see anything wrong with this. Kids at the zoo are generally thrilled with life and excited to learn more about the world. I love to see the wild animals up close. I love to be surrounded by people from all over the world sharing my enthusiasm about nature and learning.
When I am at home sick from school, my favorite movies to watch are all animated. Animated movies are full of pure, good values and empty of profanity and adult content. The simple morals depicted with colorful characters draw me into a whirling world where the bad guys are clearly depicted with dark colors and menacing songs and the good guys all are bright and cheerful. Today’s movies are all full of harsh language to depict unhappiness and have jokes that have “more than one meaning”. Kids these days are becoming introduced to more mature topics at a younger age than my generation did. This is sad, they should hold onto their innocence for as long as possible instead of rushing to grow up.
Now, at sixteen I no longer believe all that I believed when I was a kid, but I do not see the harm in holding on to those simple beliefs. Often children surprise adults with their uncanny knack for grasping ideas that they themselves struggle with. I am in no hurry to shed everything from my childhood and I find it difficult to connect with those that are. Most of my fellow high school students try to look older, act older, and can’t wait to be older; I however, prefer just to take each day as it comes and relish the optimism and enthusiasm for learning left over from my time as an adolescent.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.