The Things of Childhood to Recapture

There’s too much perpetual adolescence.

No, I’m not going to complain about the lack of “good men,” because every single complainer has their own definition.

I’m also not going to complain about certain hobbies being “childish” or “lame,” because being into, I don’t know, building models or watching adventure movies is no less nerdy than being a sports fanatic.

I mean the idea that the assumption of responsibility be pushed off as far as possible for as long as possible. That’s the pernicious effect of prolonged adolescence.

We hear the litany of reductionist, though slightly accurate, insults like “Living in mom’s basement” and “man-baby” and so on–ignoring the fact that there are plenty of perpetually adolescent women who just want to party and drink and take Instagram selfies and live with their fur-babies and all of that. But the idea for both sexes is that they don’t want to grow up and start families.

Hell, some don’t even want to pay bills.

That’s what I mean by “perpetual adolescence,” and I’m sure you know some who fit this bill, even if they’re married and have children.

Perpetual adolescence is bad. But at the same time there’s something to be said for retaining the ability to think, and maybe indeed feel, in a childlike manner.

What do I mean? I don’t mean bursting into tears when you don’t get what you want, or, God forbid, turning into this guy:

. . . but being moved by the arts isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

And for the record, crying over a movie trailer is one thing. Putting a video of you crying about over a movie trailer on the Internet where everybody can and WILL make rude comments about you just isn’t smart.

This is a small digression into my broader point: it’s not the things of childhood to recapture, but the mindset.

To get excited about something isn’t always a sign of stupidity or conformity the way a jaded adult sees it. “Prepare for disappointment,” we sigh, telling ourselves we’re just protecting ourselves from getting our hopes up when we’re really pre-programming ourselves against enjoyment. Isn’t it better to at least hold out hope that something might live up to expectations?

And if you enjoy a thing even though the gatekeepers tell you it’s not worthy, who is harmed?

To be fascinated by something is likewise not a sign of the simple-minded. Fascination can lead one to inquire how a thing works. And this can lead to all sorts of interesting new discoveries, as well as a sense of accomplishment.

And why not he fascinated by this amazing world we take for granted?

More than anything, a child possesses an ability to try nearly anything with the hope of becoming the best in the world at it. And instead of inventing a billion reasons why that’s highly, statistically unlikely or when impossible to dissuade themselves from the eventual disappointment of the failure they “know” lay in the future, they just do it.

Unless some adult, like a parent, tells them it’s statistically unlikely or impossible, so don’t other.

Maybe we never become the best in the world at the thing they’re talking about, but at least we tried when we were young. Can you say the same about yourself now? Can I?

20 comments

  1. Likewise, being unimpressed by the latest TV show (or its controversial finale) is met with disdain and incredulity by nearly everyone.

    Seriously, it’s almost as if we’re not allowed to like or dislike anything without hivemind approval……

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doug Walker–as the Nostalgia Critic–once remarked that anyone should be allowed to feel however he likes about entertainment as long as he can justify why. After seeing what happened between Brian Niemeier and Delcan Finn, however, it looks as though fans could not care less about the why.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alexander
        Huh? Brian and Declan had a fight? Ok guess I totally missed that one. I hope they can patch things up as i like both and enjoy their books.

        Back to the topic, we need to let our kids be kids and let them play more outside without obsessing over the pedophiles everywhete(tm) yes they exist but let’s make them street smart.

        Second thing, more physical toys. I’m not a fan of virtual games and think kids are better off playing with real toys.

        xavier

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Alexander,
    I dunno. We need to rebel and this one area (letting kids play outside alone around the the neighbourhood) is something I want to implement.dunno how but I’m open to ideas

    xavier

    Liked by 1 person

  3. —Very well written post and I agree, holding onto the purity of excitement and enthusiasm as an adult is important. And different from people broadcasting their weeping over a Star Wars preview and waving a lightsaber around or whatever example you want to use.

    —-I could be wrong but I thought the guy in your example above had something wrong with him mentally, if so he wouldn’t count as an example.

    —-Saw a small child playing with an ipad at a restaurant once, (I think I brought this up in another topic here) and it made me sad, they need to be interacting with the world! Same with older children, playing outside, building snow forts, etc. Glad your family live in a good neighborhood.

    cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know if the Episode IX trailer guy had a mental issue or whatever. I watched the video and he didn’t seem it. He seemed excited . . . but man, why put that online? One definite positive of adulthood is the knowledge and ability to exercise discretion.

      I’m glad you like the article though! There’s a very big difference between being childlike into childish, and that’s what I tried to express.

      Like

  4. —Fair enough about trailer guy.
    —I think you expressed yourself very well; holding onto that perspective is important and helps improve the quality of one’s life. Your question at the end is one worth asking.

    cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. It’s a question I’m not often happy with the answer to myself.

      And trailer guy…I do feel bad for the bullying he’s endured. But damn—the Internet is a cruel place. If you’re an adult and don’t know that, yikes!

      Like

  5. I didn’t think I could hate nerds since I was one myself until I worked as a QA Tester where 80% of my colleagues were nerds; overly emotional, overly childish; If I dared to say I wasn’t interested in something they liked, or god forbid had something negative to say about it, the rejection and disdain I would receive from them was baffling. They couldn’t believe I had criticism for their favorite TV Show Game of Waifu, or didn’t care one bit for superhero movie nr. 2364 that was released recently. Creepy cultist behavior. I thank god that I grew up out of the attitude relatively early in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is cultish and childish. I was a nerd kid too, and even AS KIDS bantering over which superhero could beat up who, or which video game system was best, they never got any more intense than, “Nah man, I don’t think so.” And we still went out and chased girls, so I dunno. Different times, I guess.

      Like

  6. —-Liking sci-fi/fantasy/horror/comics became viewed as nerdy things with all the stereotypes included; but the reality is a lot of people enjoy these types of fiction but balanced with having full healthy lives.

    I like horror fiction, I like weird fiction and comics and so on but don’t consider myself a nerd or a geek. I don’t get twisted up because one actor or another was cast as a character, who cares.

    cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel the same in a lot of respects. Isn’t that funny that as young men we want to seem worldly and cynical and jaded, and then we grow up trying to rekindle the spark of optimism and possibility that we squandered in our youth.

      Youth is wasted on the young indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

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