Ya know, kids and adults really aren’t that different. In fact, the only real difference between the two is how we respond to our impulses. It’s the reason why so many people think that grown ups are acting like children. Because, well, they are.

When I look at my daughter and how she responds to various situations, I totally understand. She’s not big enough to learn how to handle her frustrations so she becomes petty. She throws an attitude. Or plain ole doesn’t do what’s being asked of her. It’s frustrating as a parent because while you know that your child is just a child (and in my case a toddler), I’m grown and programmed to just know better and subconsciously place those expectations on a child who hasn’t fully learned that yet.

And yet, those same things I get frustrated for her about, I probably do as a grown up (to some degree) and I know better.

As humans, we are constantly learning and growing as people. Or should be. But we are also the sum total of our experiences and the people who helped shape them. If your parents were terrible, chances are you are going to have serious issues that may manifest themselves in odd ways. Now that’s not to say that just because you have good parents you’ll be flawless; nobody is above issues. And we all have them. But again, we’re the sum total of our experiences.

When we become grown and settled in our ways (something we try so hard to keep our children from doing) we respond to things the way we feel will benefit us. Even people who swear they have not a single selfish bone in their body are ultimately operating in their own self-interest. Whether it be to gain the upper hand or to hopefully create a desired result in somebody else. If you’re goal is to make somebody smile, and they do, it makes you feel better because you achieved a goal you wanted to accomplish.

But a real adult – a learned individual with enough experience to know better in certain circumstances – would do their best to overcome those obvious and glaring deficiences so that at the end of the day, they could look in the mirror and say, “well at least I did my part.” Now, selfishly, you can’t always just concern yourself with doing your part. The other part of being an adult is ensuring that you communicate effectively when it matters most. It’s easy to send an email about a party. But what about the conversation that determines an outcome where somebody else is a factor.

That can be hard. I don’t know why its so hard to do better. Or what the wall is comprised of that keeps some folks from ascending to a higher consciousness. Maybe it’s pettiness. Maybe it’s self-centeredness. Maybe it’s pride-ness. But it’s something. Which makes the hardest part of being an adult…

…the ability to play with everybody in the sandbox nice despite everything you’ve experienced in life that makes you want to respond like a child. And that is not easy, especially because everybody else isn’t learning lessons at the same time. Nobody’s immune. Definitely not me.

I’m still learning to play nice in the sandbox at all times. I’m also learning that I have a lot of work to do.

Excuse me while I go kick some more sand out of the box and then put it back where I found it.


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