For the past 3 days, I have been roused from bed very early in the morning. Some people and I also believe that it is a call to prayer.
This morning, as the sun is gloriously streaming into this east window , I thought of checking out a very old book of mine called The Chain of Love, Essay for Daily Living by Joseph A. Galdon SJ.
I was searching for something that really jumped out of the page when I first read it.
Since I could not locate it, I browsed the table of contents and this article really caught my attention. It is called FOR ADULTS ONLY. I will copy it to digest it fully as a gesture of reflection and maybe will not help adding my comments.
Sister Anselm told us that we should never go to movies that were classified “ For Adults Only.” She said we should only go to movies that were classified GP- General Patronage, and were OK for children. I could never figure out what the difference was between children and adults, except that everyone among us second graders wanted to go to movies For Adults Only, and no one ever wanted to go to the GP movies. But then I grew up a little bit and I began to understand the difference between children and adults. Judith Viorst summarized a lot of those differences in a very fine article in “Redbook” in 1987.
We grow up all our lives, she wrote, and we grow up in all kinds of ways. Some of our growth is fast and some of it is slow, sometimes painfully slow. Cardinal Newman wrote in one of his essays that everything that is alive must grow, and when something stops growing we know that it is dead. We may be adults in some parts of our lives, and still be like little children in other apects of our lives. I know a man who is the greatest business man in the world. He is very successful in the office, but he isn’t a very good husband and he doesn’t know how to show affection for his children when they need it from him.
The bad news about being an adult is that life isn’t fair. No matter how you twist it and turn it and try to finagle with it, life just isn’t fair and it is never going to be so. The big question in adult life isn’t “ Why me? It is , or should be ,” Why not me?” The other touchy part about being an adult is that no matter how nice and charming and bright you are,not everyone you meet is going to approve of what you are or what you do, or love you, or even like you. When you are an adult you begin to realize that from time to time it is going to rain in your parade, and that now and then, no matter how careful you try to be, you are going to do something unbelievably stupid. That is the bad news about being an adult.
How stupid can stupid ever be? Knowing that you are headed for destruction/trouble/dissaster, and you still will proceed?
The good news is that unless you are hanging around with some really stupid and mean people, no one but you will every remember the dumb things that you have ever done. The other good news about being an adult is that you do not have to have an opinion on everything, and that almost all the bad stuff in life is survivable. We do get over the bad things, and sometimes we even discover- eventually- that a lot of the bad things in life have even been useful. When you become an adult you begin to realize that you are not nearly as wonderful as you hoped you would be.
Very true especially for low self esteemed people who do not have a positive perception of themselves. Here Here! But realistically, 41 can never be 23 again.
..but you are not nearly as terrible as you feared you would be. Being an adult isn’t really too bad. I have never met an adult who, if he had a choice, would want to go back and be a child again. I liked Sister Anselm a lot,but I don’t think I would want to go back and be a second grader again. I wouldn’t want to be as selfish as I was in second grade or as proud and childish as I was then.
Hmmmm….struck a chord. Deep. My realization, one cannot just discard a very important person in once life, because another one comes along with a very attractive package.
When we’re adults we aren’t as self centered as we used to be. We’re not so judgemental- or just plain dumb- as we were when we were little kids. We aren’t as self righteous as we used to be, and we have learned to tell the difference between the tinsel and the fluff, between the real and the fake, between the important and non important. An adult knows about real friendship and what is worth chasing after in life. Growing up is tough, but it does bring a lot of rewards. We aren’t as self pitying as we used to be, and we know better what we like, in work, in play, in people and in life.
Ok, if I be a real friend in this particular situation I am faced with, I shall not pity too much. I shall call the truth by name and evil as I see it coming.
Judith Viorst has a good examination of conscience for adults in her Redbook article. She says that you are an adult with your own parents when you start looking at them, not just as parents, but also as real people, with dreams and needs and fears and lives of their own. You are an adult with your parents when you can forgive them for what you feel they did not give you and can start really feeling grateful for what you did get from them. When your parents tell you what to do( Imagine! You’re married and have kids of your own and they are still telling you what to do!) do you foam at the mouth and get totally furious at them, feel that you have no choice except to obey, or listen very politely and kindly to what they have to say, and then go and make your own decision?
As to the frothing and foaming, not much anymore, I am able to muster a good smile and go my way.
When you and your parents go out for dinner in a nice restaurant, do you still expect them to pay the bill??? Viorst says that if you are an adult, you already know the answers to these questions, and if you are not an adult, being told the answers won’t help very much.
Hmmmm…thus we should read the road sign, clearly enough and early on. No Text/sex while driving.
You can’t give the knife that he wants to play with. You have to say no if you love him and are Viorst also says that you are an adult with your child if you know how to set limits, for yourself and for your child. As a parent you are responsible for your kid’s morals, manners, health and well being. That means that, without being a bully or a fascist, or one of those imperialist that our teenagers are always talking about, you are allowed and sometimes obliged to say to your kids : “ I don’t care how they do it in Marin’s family. This is the way we do it in our family. When you are a parent yourself, you’’ be able to do it your way. But in the meantime, I expect you to do it our way. I’ve already explained what I want you to do and why, so not you have to stop arguing and just do it. And you have to di it because I said so. You have to do it and I don’t have to to do it because you are the kid and I am the adult.”a good parent and adult. One of the most foolish definitions of love I’ve heard from a teenager on a retreat one time. She said that Love means always to say Yes. When she grows up and becomes an adult, she will realize that love very often means saying No, quite firmly and quite definitely.
I will not include the last paragraph on page 58. Because I want to end in NO. Firmly and definitely.
NOTE: BOLD LETTERS ARE TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM BOOK, REST ARE MY THOUGHTS ADDED.