Once upon a time, when we were young, our parents were the ones whom we were dependent on – for all things from our survival & safety (food, protection from the sun, cold, and diseases, and all), to our learning & development (to talk, to walk, to recognize things and the world at large) and to basically, take care of our basic needs (recognition of wanting to eat, sleep, rest, play, s***, etc.) This was the typical and basic cycle when we grew up.
Now, fast forward to many years later, when we already knew all of the above and more, and have already formed opinions and have our own stands in life – where and how we want to live our lives. At this stage, there are two “best friends” that should tag along in our life journey too. What do I mean by that? Let me elaborate…
Maturity is the “first best friend” that we need to identify early and really be good friends with. Gone are the days when someone else would be thinking for you, what you should be doing and when, but now, you should in turn show that you are capable of thinking hopefully not just for yourselves, but also more importantly, for the people around us. I still remember a rather funny situation many years ago when I was trying to get bread for my 2nd daughter’s breakfast the next day. I knew she loved chocolate-flavoured bread, but I needed to ask her just in case, “What if chocolate bread is no longer available, what would you want? She really thought about it, but for a short while only and said “I want chocolate bread woh”. Tried and tried again, her answer remained the same. Fixated on her favourite!
When she was older, we had the opportunity of being in the same situation, but this time to the same question, she thought for a wee bit longer and told us, “It is OK if no chocolate bread, then I shall have the sweet corn flavour please”. Now, that is being able to think, analyze, rationalize and come up with alternatives, and not be fixated on one thing that might not be available. Won’t you agree that it represent a level of maturity, albeit on a smaller scheme of things in life! 🙂
Next friend up is taking responsibility, a very close second best friend really – why? If you know how to think and rationalize and all of the above, BUT decide NOT to take the actions required, everything is really back to square one! Think about it…you are feeling unwell, you know the signs, the prolonged lethargic feeling and the joint pains that you know all so well. However, you chose to ignore these signs or too lazy to even go and seek medical attention. One thing led to another and it developed into something more serious? Now that is lack of taking responsibility, as well as not being too matured, isn’t it? You are really doing disjustice for yourselves.
At times, I felt that perhaps some folks may have a sense of respect for elders and hence want to seek for their second opinions, thoughts and comments before doing anything. Even if this might be true, let me twist things around and say this, when do you think you should start thinking and deciding for yourselves. Would they be around forever, for you to bounce off ideas and thoughts?
Likewise, if you are parents yourselves, until when should you continue thinking and acting for them? Why don’t you try “to let it go” at a point in time when you are still not senile and can see for yourselves that whatever decisions and thinking that they moot out are results of your parenting and upbringing? That, my friends, is much more fulfilling than seeing them following your instructions to the Ts. As long as they are not in life-threatening situations, let them be, and they will slowly but surely begin to figure things out for themselves.
Lastly, maturity and taking responsibility for ourselves on our own behalf.
Let me explain: for those of us (like yours truly) who are no longer young but still have the energy, the best thing we can for ourselves is this – get ourselves into a fitter and better physique as much as our body conditions allow so that when we are older and less energetic, we are still capable of taking care of ourselves, body, mind and soul. Personally, I believe that growing into old age with the independence and capability of doing things for and by ourselves is the way to go; no longer needing to be dependent on our children. They have their own ups-and-downs in lives, frustrations, jubilations, and all. If we manage their upbringing well, they should be a near replica of how we handle things and situations anyway – with maturity and taking responsibility of course.
Happy Sunday, y’all, and stay safe amid COVID-19!
P/S Don’t get me wrong – I am all for being a closely-knitted and family camaraderie, but not at the expense of us being a regular in HOW THEY RUN their lives. We should be a feature in the REST of their live activities instead…trials and jubilations and all…