The Wisdom of Youth
March 10, 2014
We all know that hindsight is a wonderful thing… we often say “If I knew then what I know now…” And all have ideas about the advice we would give ourselves if we could back in time, knowing what life had ahead…
We all have words of wisdom that we wished we had been given (or listened to) when we were young (or younger)… But what about that theory in reverse…?
I remembered myself at 8 years old… And thought about myself at that age and realised that as a “grown up” I had lost so many of the quirks and qualities that made me who I was back then. I reflected on my childhood and teenage years and realised I had a lot to learn from the younger me.
At 8 I remember having boundless energy… I had a punishing schedule of school, guitar lessons, singing tuition, figure-skating, Brownies… but I never once remember thinking “I’m tired” or “I don’t want to this”…
Somewhere along the way I lost that. Perhaps it’s because living as a “grown up” can sometimes be hard. The rocks in the road that we never saw as children (because people around us took care of them) became blocks on the journey of life; responsibility brings pressure and (in my case) pressure brings fatigue… And so the 8 year old me faded into the background somewhere along the journey.
I have to admit, my inner child never quite disappeared… Lovely Husband and I have a rule that if I pass anywhere with a slide it’s my DUTY to go down it. I must confess I get some strange looks but it always makes me smile when I do it… and I can honestly say I’ve never walked past a slide without going down it (LH draws the line at stopping the car if we pass one… and I can understand that!)
But yesterday I checked with the 8 Year Old Me and tried to tap into the wisdom of youth…
I have now decided:
- Sleep is overrated and I don’t need nearly as much as I think I do;
- If I used to love exercise (which is basically what “playing out” was all about) I probably still will… I just need to find the one that I enjoy the most.
- Eating “greens” may not be as much fun as chocolate ice-cream but greens are important.
- If I looked back at my daily schedule at 8 years old I’d say it wasn’t possible… but it was… I proved it… and just got on with it…
- There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a complete “paddy-stonk-on” fit of temper or tantrum every once in a while… (Although maybe not in the middle of the supermarket because my mum wouldn’t let me have the chocolate bar of choice).
You get the idea…
Whilst, as grown-ups, we have the benefit of wisdom acquired through life which we wish we had known in our youth… as children we had qualities and skills and dreams and thick skins and a world of possibilities.
As adults we don’t often revisit our childhood to seek out the wisdom we had back then… but we should. Tapping into the enthusiasm and curiosity and “no-holds-barred” person from our past can have a positive effect on the person we are now and the place we find ourselves in.
Think back to a time before you were 18 years old, when you were in a “good place” and have a conversation with the “You Now and the You Then”… look back, reflect, learn and live life with some of the "wisdom of youth" in it, not just the wisdom of age.
Have a really fantastic day… and remember… at 8, at 18, at 38… and beyond… you are unique and amazing.
With a Hug