What it is to be grown up

As a child, we are taught to be someone that our parents and teachers want us to be.  Like pets, when we do something that others like, we are awarded, and when we do something that others do not like, we are reprimanded.  This then sets us up for the rest of our lives, or so we think.

When we become adults, we learn that the ‘conditioning’ we received as children serve as a foundation to who we are, be it good or bad (and that entirely depends on who is judging).  However, our ability to view to the world from an independent mind-set sets us apart from our child-selves.  We can then decide and think for ourselves, to act as we see appropriate and not as how others would like us to.

Of course, a harmonious society means that as adults, we would still need to consider others’ feelings too, but because they are not our family or teachers, we can at least choose to acknowledge the differences and disagree openly.

The difficult thing about growing up is when you then have to face your parents and teachers as a fully independent adult.  The rules that they applied to you as a child still remains in their minds, but in yours, they do not anymore.  However, you are fully aware of the consequences of going against those expectations and you, as a grown-up, will have to decide whether it is appropriate to openly disagree and what the consequences will be.

The cycle then repeats itself when you have your own children or students to teach.  If possible though, keep in mind what you had to go through in the transition for your children and students will be grown-ups soon enough.  If they are to act in a way in which does not pleases you, do not take it to heart for they are just doing what all grown-ups do.