When recently engaged in discussion with a sixteen year-old I’ll refer to as Ms. “Green” (pun intended), she stated several times during the lengthy conversation, “I can’t wait to get older.” Her thought process listed that, with the coming of age, fewer regulations would be enforced thereby, granting unlimited and unabridged freedoms.
My regret; delivering a bitter dose of reality that proved somewhat daunting when I explained to Ms. Green that her life, at sixteen, was right on track given where she was supposed to be at that stage. I explained why she shouldn’t wish her young years hurriedly away because they would be gone soon enough. Once passed, innocent times would never be available again and, without fail, everyone ultimately longs to recover those “lost years.”
In identifying for Ms. Green the three “C’s” of life, I pointed out the path through this world consists of choices, consequences and/or celebrations; depending upon the route one consciously chooses. At her age, I disclosed, a person shouldn’t be so consumed with the details of adulthood that they missed out on the opportunity to truly live in the moment. That, of course, wasn’t to imply people should be generally reckless and care free in their actions. There is a way to enjoy living a fully wholesome and fulfilling life within the confines of the law and parental guidelines.
Too often, youth want to embrace adult responsibilities and engage in the process of trying to justify a more mature lifestyle. Unfortunately, they’re then forced to make choices without the life experiences that would qualify them to take on such obligations. There are certain regulatory factors governing specific activities mandating one be of the appropriate age for a reason. It simply states that in order to be involved in said actions, a person has to be able to handle the associated liabilities.
Better served is the individual who has the wisdom to simply slow down and live life to the fullest. Make it a point to enjoy every opportunity afforded and be truly receptive to the wisdom accompanying each valuable lesson. For surely, my hillbilly philosophy states, there is a big difference between age and maturity.
The difficulty in making adult choices is never fully realized until one has to deal with the resulting consequences. This is when it becomes evident as to whether a person has achieved the “appropriate age” to be qualified for the life they desire to live. Today’s youth can trust that there will be opportunity enough to grow up and take on the challenge of being responsible for themselves. Everyone, no matter at what stage they are in life, will eventually deal with consequences of ill-fated choices in one form or another. A very wise man much my senior once told me, “Son, every education gone cost you something. Don’t matter if its trade school, a four year degree or the doctorate you get from living life. They’s a price you gone pay for everything.”
Life will invariably provide ample occasions when individuals will be required to make difficult decisions, pay bills, be responsible for themselves (and others), have to secure living arrangements, pay bills, provide transportation, supply food and other essentials, pay bills, and deal with every other challenge one can think of (as well as a lot they can’t) and, I may have forgotten to mention, pay bills.
As such, it’s important for people to realize there’s no point trying to hurry through life. Time will eventually take care of getting you to wherever it is you’re intent on going. Without a doubt, the drawbacks to making poor choices are more easily absorbed the earlier in life they have to be suffered. That is the benefit of God’s divine design in that we’re afforded mistakes in the early stages of living. With appropriate guidance, fortitude, and prayerfully acquired wisdom, it is possible to recover from adolescent blunders. Stated in 1 Corinthians 13:11 (KJV) of the bible: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
This brings me to the celebrations one will have the benefit of enjoying when good choices are made on a consistent basis. It’s not to say a person won’t make occasional mistakes. However, one can relish in the peace of mind gained from living within their means and not being unnecessarily consumed with the anxieties of “Smith and Jones” syndrome.
Life manages to teach the priceless lessons necessary to navigate it. Responsibility falls upon the respective individuals to absorb and apply knowledge that ultimately manifests wisdom unparalleled. That, by definition, interprets as truly living life as opposed to simply existing. I could be wrong but it’s just something to consider.