What makes us grown up? What defines a grown up and do we ever grow up? A recent discussion on the Nanny State sparked by the introduction on a ban on smoking in public places has got me trying to define responsibility, growing up and whether as a society we chase after youth so much that we are actually striving to be childish.
When I remember the adults in my life, usually from the perspective of being a child, they seemed so poised, so in control of their lives, to be frank plain organised and of course pearls of wisdom dropped off their lips like rain drops off the scaffolding outside my window.
Where have all the adults gone? Who can I look to, to show me how to be a grown-up? Is there a grown-up ideal? And if not can I fashion one? Do I have the skills to be a grown up?
But what is by far more scary is: will I be able to pass on what little skill/knowledge I have about being an adult so that my children will have the opportunity to be grown up in turn?
So what is a grown up?
For starters there is a certain selflessness about a true grown up. Less id and ego more super ego. There is an ethical integrity - they are the people we lesser mortals look up to for moral guidance.
Perhaps having two World Wars one after the other killed off too many grown ups and left the remainder with the belief that they must be doing something wrong. The resulting sea change was so strong – playing as it did to the id or child in all – that like a ball rolling down hill the momentum took over until the change was out of control - the problem is no one noticed.
There is so much I wish to explain regarding my theories about grown ups but I am tired and I will not be able to express myself adequately. Perhaps as I expound I may find enlightenment or just plain clarity….