Children never know how fortunate they are for being young. They could sleep all they want, eat all they can, and play to their hearts’ content. They never need to worry about anything in the world; they do nothing but wait for the grown-ups to do everything for them. They only get hurt when they scrape their knees and cry when they get scolded. They have no problems, no work, no pain, and no pretensions – but of course they have no idea how wonderful that is.
When I was a kid, all I thought was how cool it was to grow up, be an adult, and do whatever I want – I could never be more wrong. Sure, it feels great to be free from parents and have the liberty to decide on your own or do whatever you wish, but that freedom caused me to give up a lot of things – things that I now want to take back, even if it costs my independence. At first, I lost my pure and priceless innocence; I became bothered with a lot of things and burdened with anxiety which, unfortunately, expedited my aging. And now, I’m gradually losing the bonds that limited my freedom, but at the same time, I’m gaining more and more responsibility. As I grow older, my obligations also increase, and I become dutifully bound to them. To sum it up, I was restricted when I was young – by the rules and reprimands of my parents – and still until now that I am growing old, this time by the responsibility expected of me. Maybe this is the curse of humans: to never be entirely free as long as we are tied to this world.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment you can experience is when you disappoint yourself. I mean, there are worse disappointments other people can give you, but you can’t control them. You, on the other hand, can control yourself. You have all the freewill in the world and you have the capability to do what you will, so it’s devastating when you let yourself down – it’s like betraying the person who knows you the most. You see, as I was growing up, I learned to distinguish good from bad, right from wrong, and I took all those values and from them I built my principles – principles I believed in all my life. Now as I grew older and as life got more complicated, time came that I had to compromise my beliefs. I vowed to be different, to stay firm, and not let myself be taken by the current; but the forces of society are too overpowering – I succumbed to its standards and shattered my own.
Every challenge I encountered in my life all involved one thing: a choice. And the greatest choice I have to make is to love or not to love. I’m not talking about the romantic kind of love here; I’m pertaining to that pure and genuine kind of love that a lot of people already forget. It may be seemingly simple, the act of loving, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. As what I have experienced throughout the years, it’s really hard to completely love someone, especially when that someone is not very loveable. Sometimes, all the laws and rational thinking are against the reason to love and you’re torn between what you think is right and what you do not realize is right. And as a human being, I have the tendency to doubt, to fear, and to forget what’s really important, hence I find myself unable to totally surrender my all to love. And with that realization, I put to heart a valuable lesson: love is a choice. So now I am taking all my courage to make the right choice.
Children are lucky – they do not bear responsibilities, suffer disappointments, or make difficult choices. It must be heavenly on earth if all the people in the world never grew old. It’s a world I often dream of living in – a place of no evil, only of pure goodness and bliss. But as what I’ve learned in life, change is part of the divine plan and the Master has a very good reason for us to face inevitable part of growing old. Thus, I decided to grow up.