Michael Battalio


Friday, August 08, 2014

Serious conversations (part 58): Adulthood part 4

        This series is a continuation of my conversations with an atheist friend of mine. These are my edited responses from that conversation. The fifty-fifth – fifty-ninth entries deal with adulthood.

        Previously I consider some criterion for adulthood. Here I consider my interaction with other adults and why I feel more comfortable interacting with people younger than me.

        One thing that definitely helps with my trepidation in interacting with people is that I am now older than a lot of the people I interact with.  That makes people a lot less scary (for lack of a better word) than they used to be.  I have no idea why that is.  The first exterminator I had come to take care of a mouse problem in my house was younger looking (and shorter) than me.  I was very comfortable talking and negotiating prices with him.  I doubt I would have been able to do that had the person been older and more imposing.  Being older simply makes me feel more in control.  

        In reflecting on my time as an elementary then junior and senior high school student, I think I can explain why becoming older makes me feel more comfortable. I can clearly remember as an elementary student the importance placed on getting older, that the older grades were somehow better or more important and how I constantly envied those older than me.  The same thing is true of high school.  Such a big deal is made of how great it is to be a high school senior, how it is your year, and how important it is, and it becomes the entire goal of high school.  That older age is held on a pedestal for your entire high school career.  We are taught that being older is better (Which I submit is absolutely false, I now frequently reminisce over how nice and carefree childhood was.), and that you shouldn’t interact with people older than you. That has stuck with me since then and inevitably shaped my perceptions of age and adulthood.

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