Philosophy over coffee

Child Musings at 3.

In Life Matters, Size: Venti on July 8, 2008 at 11:05 am

For some people, being branded childish is such a slap on the face. But for the others, it is nothing but a mere empty label. It hasn’t been only once, or twice, or thrice, or even ten times that I have been branded such. At 23, people expect a certain level of maturity, if not complete maturity. Yet at 23, I find myself still chuckling and getting hysterical at the shallowest of things, some of which perhaps only a 5-year old kid would appreciate. While I do get reminded at times that there is some growing up that needs to be done, some things that need to be caught up on, I still can’t help but indulge in the frequent moments of childishness.

I am often called crazy but after giving it some thought, it then makes me wonder- am I crazy because I am wild, ridiculously and thoughtfully funny, and just plain out of my mind? Or am I crazy because of my already apparent childishness and clumsy, gibberish thoughts? I am not writing for the plain reason of defending myself but instead to make sense of all this, if indeed it is possible. You meet me the first time, I am completely silent (although that is slowly being changed). You meet me the 2nd time, I become more open. You meet me the 3rd, 4th and 5th time, depending on the circumstances, you can probably already have the ‘good’ impression many people have of me.

On the surface, I become the mature, occasionally funny guy who pleases many and is pleased by many. But beneath that is still the underdeveloped self, the kid, that is afraid to come out until he already deems it safe to do so. In that sense, I believe there is more to childishness than a mere lack of maturity. Instead, it stands for complacency, for comfortability, for openness. At least in my case I believe such a rule applies. In other words, once that level of comfort and ease of being around a certain group of people has been reached, the kid then decides to let down his guard.

I really don’t see anything wrong about being childish. For as long as the acts are not paired with irresponsibility, with tantrums every 10-15 minutes, with ignorance, with negligence, with overdependence, with anything else that a real child does, I don’t see how it is a big deal. True people have to act properly in front of their superiors, of their professors, of the respectable people. But why do we have to stay the same in front of friends and family and even friends we just met? I cannot remember when I’ve scrutinized somebody else’s childishness. What I can remember is how I have always been amazed by them. Not for their (oftentimes) complete stupidity, but for the sheer entertainment they provide. If we can laugh at the childishness of Friends, then why can’t we laugh at it in real life? I think that between being childish and uptight, I’d rather be the former. And I am not saying it is a black-and-white thing, with no gray area. I simply think it’s not something that people have to make a big deal about.

We do need to maintain a certain level of maturity as we age, but that doesn’t mean leaving behind the simple (and crazy) things that make us, people laugh. The thoughts and stories that used to make us laugh 5, 10, or even 30 years ago. So what if it’s childish? So what if it so over and over and over again? For as long as it does not hurt anyone, nor does it strip people off of their responsibilities in their lives, families, and friends, and it keeps people happy, then why the big fuss?

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