Sometimes, I invent this absurd idea in my head that I am an adult, that I am all done growing up. After all, I’m less than one year away from becoming a real, legal adult and exactly just one year away from graduating high school. I bet my SAT scores are better than most adults out there, and that I can take the derivative of a function faster than my own parents. But I guess just having the idea that scholarly intelligence is what makes up someone’s maturity is pretty childish in itself. I guess that means I’m still a child.
Today I had the pleasure of listening to this adult speaker. He was a part of this huge, international, non-profit organization. Not gonna lie, this dude was pretty old. He told us he was born in 1937, only 4 years after the end of the Holocaust. But he was also pretty important. He mentioned that he had a meeting with the Pope tomorrow – the freaking POPE! Anyways, this old, important dude is talking and talking and talking whilst I am listening and listening and being amazed. He talks about how important tolerance is to him. He talks about how he’s devoted his life to others. He mentions all these honorable projects advocating for things like human rights, disaster relief, and senior citizens. I’ve known that this man has existed for maybe 4 hours now, but I respect him immensely.
I don’t know how he does it. I don’t know adults in general do it! I don’t know how these people can dare to devote so much of their lives to others. Mothers spend their lives raising their children. Doctors spend their lives savings other’s lives. I have so many problems, or “problems.” I worry about what outfit I’ll wear tomorrow. I worry about where to apply to college. I worry about whether or not I’ll look good in a bikini this summer. I have so many worries of my own I don’t really have the time to worry about the apparent oppressed humans or disaster survivors or old people who all have much bigger worries than mine.
To me an adult adult is someone who looks out for others. An adult adult takes responsibility for others by his or her own choice. I know to respect these qualified adults, even though I have a long way to go before I can be one myself. Even when I am deemed an adult by law next year, I doubt that I will really be an adult adult – I’m much too selfish. I’ll probably be 30, or 40, or 50 by the time I really start to commit to and serve others. So to my future adult adult self, I’d like to say, I‘m so glad you’ve made it! But to my current, present self, I’d like to say, no more slacking – we have a long way to go.