We have this thinking, of how life has levels. And that adults, or rather older people, are better than us. But based on my observations, most, if not all of them are not. They just present themselves like they know what they’re doing, but they really don’t. They could be your parents, your professors, your supervisors, or the aunts and uncles who like nosing into your life. I’m not saying we’re better than them either. I’m just saying that I’m disappointed with how they sold themselves to me, because I believed when they said they’re way better than me. I believed them when they told me to listen to people older than me because they know better. I’ll tell you now, it’s not true.
Note: please keep in mind that I’m not including infancy to teenage years in my writing. Obviously, the kids-kids need older people’s guidance, so do not rebut my statement with such undeniable dispute. I’m talking as a “kid” who just got out of college, and who is expecting so much from the “adult” world.
Sometimes, I think it’s my fault I’m this disappointed with the adult world. Utmost respect for older people and their knowledge and decisions in life was ingrained so deep in my brain, I expected every single adult to know their shit. I’ve been told to listen to older people because they know better. They know better because they have lived on Earth longer than me. That’s the logic. And that thought was reinforced much more because my father held his end to the deal, which is to be far more knowledgeable than me. This learning environment I grew into lead me to believe that every adult knows his or her shit, and will be able to teach me something valuable. At 23, I realized that this logic is flawed.
What I realized is this: growth and knowledge is not reciprocal to the years of living experience.
Knowledge speaks volumes in all situations. With those premises, we can arrive to the conclusion that age differences shouldn’t matter in social, professional and familial situations.
Why am I making a big deal out of this? One word: insecurity.
I can see a lot of insecurity in a lot of people older than me – insecurity that they haven’t got what they wanted in life, or that they still don’t know what they want to do in life, in spite of having lived years and years. The years that they’ve bundled under their sleeves make them believe that they are better than before. But simply living, or getting older, doesn’t necessarily make you a better person. I wish they rid themselves of this insecurity, and live life as it is. You don’t have to be an expert at something when you’re already 50. And I’m sorry for expecting that from you. You can still hustle and achieve your goal even if you’re already bordering 70. I just don’t like it how old people seal their learning gears up when they grow old just because they think that they have learned enough.
As a kid, I’ve been finding myself taking care of people who are older than me (not in the physical sense). It makes me feel weird, because I expect them to do that to me. I expect them to lead, and to know what they are doing. It confuses the fuck out of me, because they make me do shit that doesn’t make any sense. They make me do shit that’s run out of ego, insecurity, immaturity or childishness. You know how the older people expect the kids to know how to act like an adult once they step into that age? I expected that from them too. It turns out that the adult world is a scam. And sometimes even if I’m just 23, I can be more secure than all these other adults who just simply grew old into the years that they have.
Once you step into the adult world, just remember that everyone is equal. It is a free playground of knowledge, skills and talent. Age is just a number. Younger people can be better than you, don’t be insecure. Older people are not perfect. They can think shit and make you do senseless things, take it with a grain of salt. Ultimately, you decide what you do and who you want to be.
Maybe I’m just too full of questions, and I expect the older people to be able to answer all of them. I don’t know. Sometimes I can feel their anxiety when I ask them something, while expecting a straight answer, and they just can’t give one. I have to be reminded that they too, are also still human, and have their limits. I guess “expectation” is a two way street. If the adults are expecting so much from us, I’m also expecting a lot from them, too.