Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Essence of What We Once Were

 “All grown-ups were once children... but only few of them remember it.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of "The Little Prince"   
     As we mature and life changes us, I think we can begin to forget who we were as children and morph into adults we never planned on being.  I try to remind myself of things that I loved as a child and return to the simple joys of reading, writing, sketching, playing the piano, baking treats, and yes, even weeding the garden to retain the person I once was.  It is good to be reminded of childhood, especially when working with children, not to expect more of them that we were ourselves, and to encourage the joys we experienced growing up.
     I have noticed recently how some people I grew up with and really enjoyed turned into completely different people as adults, one can hardly recognize who they were in their youth.  How and when do we become the people we never thought we would be?  I'm thinking that it is a gradual insidious process that no one could really place their finger on to say "There, that is when you became someone else."
     How can we see ourselves as others see us?  If I look at myself in many ways I am still  as insecure and sensitive I have always been, but I have grown more confident through experiences as a teacher.
   We are at best complicated and complex people of many layers.  I have seen my own children grow and mature and change for the better.  I hope they never change completely and always retain the essence of what they once were.

     We measured the personalities, values, and preferences of more than 19,000 people who ranged in age from 18 to 68 and asked them to report how much they had changed in the past decade and/or to predict how much they would change in the next decade. Young people, middle-aged people, and older people all believed they had changed a lot in the past but would change relatively little in the future. People, it seems, regard the present as a watershed moment at which they have finally become the person they will be for the rest of their lives. This “end of history illusion” had practical consequences, leading people to overpay for future opportunities to indulge their current preferences.

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