This I Believe

Michelle - Orem, Utah
Entered on May 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change, family

Aging Priorities

Picture this: You are in the grocery store listening to an adult throw a temper tantrum because all the bananas are gone. Real? No, because I believe that as we get older we learn to communicate and our priorities change from ourselves to others.

When I was an infant, it was all about me. No one else mattered if I wanted food I screamed until my tummy felt better. If I felt wet and uncomfortable I hollered until someone changed my diaper. Babies are helpless and can’t communicate anything except “I’m not happy.” They are centered on “me.”

As I grew into a toddler I learned to talk and was taught that I was supposed to share my toys and such with others. But, still I wanted everything for myself unless mommy or daddy was watching me. “No” and “mine” are favorite words for toddlers. They have to acknowledge that others exist, but they are still focused on themselves.

As I became a teenager my priorities changed from this very “me! me! me!” into “me and my friends.” I wanted out of my house away from my parents and most of all to be liked by my friends. Often what my friends what is more important then what I want or my parents want. “Me” is starting to become less important.

As I hope to mature into an adult and leave my parents home for college I expect to expand from just “my friends and I” to a higher level of concern for others beyond myself. College students are known for being part of causes—from abortion, to hunger, to war. They care about others and sacrifice their time for others in need.

At some point I hope to meet someone that is so important to me that I want to marry. At that point my priorities will again change to meet his needs rather than my own. The “me” phase is officially over. As life progresses eventually we will obtain children. At this point our primary focus will be the children.

When this all happens it’s always our kids first. Everything is about them, then about your spouse, family, friends and last me. As the years keep going and going we will soon become grandparents with lots of grand kids. Now it’s all about them, those newer babies in our lives.

Later as a great, great, grandparent with Alzheimer’s, I’ll wear a diaper and I WILL through a fit in a grocery store.