Growing up

When you’re a child, adults seem to have this air of authority about them. In addition to their large stature, they have many years of lived experience. They establish formative rules – bedtime at 9 pm, no dessert until you’ve eaten your broccoli. You ascribe a certain degree of credibility to them because they are adults. And you generally assume they have their life put together because they are old.

Then at some point, as you mature and become an adult yourself, the shroud of authority starts to lift. You realize there are a whole bunch of completely clueless adults out there who are just doing their best to get by. This is one of the more fascinating transitions in life. You discover that age is in fact not correlated with maturity after a certain point, and you stop ascribing this higher sense of moral authority to old(er) people.  

A close friend of mine, James, recently shared with me, “adults are just doing their best with the tools they have available to them. And sometimes those tools are inadequate for life’s work”. I really liked that. It’s a nice way of accepting that even gramps can be a reprobate.