An issue came up on my team the other night and I tried to express something that I believed. It came out miserably and I left the meeting with a feeling that I did not represent myself … or at least my beliefs very well. This is about what it means to be an adult. Am I grown up yet?
Many years ago, I was sitting in a college classroom. It must have been a psychology class of some sorts, but I do not remember ever taking any. Anyway, the instructor posed the question, “What does it mean to be an adult?” As the students answered he would write their replies down on the black board. Answers ranged from simplistic, such as, “When you turn 18,” to more complex with spiritual/emotional criteria. I did not venture a guess. I had never contemplated such a question before and did not have an answer. I remembered that question for many years until one day I realized the answer; we become an adult when we take full responsibility for ourselves.
OK, now what does that mean? It’s simple. It means that we do not blame anyone else for who we are, what we feel, what we think and our situation. This does not mean that we blame ourselves. In fact, why don’t we just take the concept of blame and throw it out the window. It’s a silly notion invented by humans for who knows what reason … perhaps to control others … keep them in adolescence.