Lately there has been a meme going around on Facebook to this effect: “I don’t want to adult today. If you need me, I’ll be in my blanket fort, colouring.” Initially I thought this was cute. We all have those moments where we just wish we could go back in time and live those moments when we were a little freer to do whatever we wanted. Or at least, thought we were. Recently though, when reading this meme I have wanted to tear my hair out. Why? Because I am seeing far too many adults take the idea of not wanting to be an adult for a day, and turning it into license to not act like an adult at all…anytime. I have come across a few people recently who you can tell were told they didn’t have to ‘adult’ anymore. That it’s okay to spew your feelings all over other people, to act like a petulant child and not have to give account of their words or actions. Those people have gone from being adults (at least, I assume they were at one time) to overgrown children.
Temper tantrums abound. We don’t get our way, so we throw adult tantrums. We are afraid others are out to get us, so we hurt them so they can’t hurt us. Our feelings get hurt far too easily. And before anyone says, “Well, get the log out of your own eye, lady” I am speaking to myself here too. I am just as guilty as the next person. I have thrown things, had adult tantrums, called names, been hurtful and verbally abusive to those I love. I have verbally wounded those who should be able to trust me the most. And so I say, this must stop. Not just for the sake of those around us in our adult lives but most especially for the sake of the next generation. Whether you have children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren or your friends have invited you to be a part of their children, nieces, nephews or grandchildren’s lives…you are accountable to someone younger than you.
We need to be adults. We don’t actually have the right to take extended periods of time off from this. Why? Because the next generation desperately needs role models. They need to know that when they grow up, wanting to be just like us, that that is a good thing. No, a great thing. We should be adults worthy of respect, because we respect others. Adults who are unselfish, caring, compassionate and above all, mature.
That’s right. I said it. We are not acting mature in our day to day lives. I’m sure there are people out there who are mature, and I commend you. For the rest of us, I plead with you, stop begging to be let out of the responsibility of being an adult.
We spent our entire childhoods wanting to be grown up. Now we are, and we don’t know how to be grown ups. In many cases, we let the wrong people be our role models. The next generation doesn’t have to grow up with the same struggles. It doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s be better examples.
Sure, take a day off from work one day. Take a mini vacation for yourself from time to time. But please, don’t stop acting like an adult, because the next generation desperately needs to know what adults should be. They want to be like us. Are we setting the best example? Or are we giving impressionable young minds the idea that, just because you’re an adult, you don’t have to act like it?
Until next time,
Keep dreaming and never give up.