Someone I know was called childish the other day. I was offended.
Not because I thought that person was being insulted. Not because I thought that person wasn’t being taken seriously. Absolutely not. I was offended because they were the ones being called childish, not me.
I love being childish. Childish is one of the things that I think I do best. If anybody was to say I was being childish, I wouldn’t be upset in the least. I would take it as a compliment, and a very great compliment at that.
What do we mean when we say someone is being childish? We are suggesting that person is acting like a child. And what is wrong with that? Children are great. They know how to have fun. They know how to think freely, and to see things in ways that we adults, with our prejudices and our locked down modes of thinking, wouldn’t even consider. They are passionate and joyful, finding pleasure in even the smallest things in life. How I wish I could be more like that.
Sure, I might present a facade that I am an adult. I might own a house and have a job. I might sustain a relationship, and even be a vaguely reasonable parent. But deep down, my true childish self resides. The self that doesn’t take all this adult stuff too seriously. The self that just wants to laugh and sing, whatever the moment. The self that wants to live a full and genuine life, making the most from simple pleasures.
Ok, I admit there are some times when childishness might not be so great. Children can be rude. They can be thoughtless. They can be utterly self-centred and unable to see the world from anybody else’s point of view. I like to think that I’m not childish in that way. I like to think that when it comes to dealing with other people, and being aware of their needs and feelings, I have managed to achieve some level of, dare I say it, maturity.
But in most other areas, I’m more than happy to be thought of as childish. I’m more than happy for people to see me as fun and creative, as not frightened to live life on my terms, rather than conforming to some sort of “adult” norm.
So if somebody suggests that I might be a little childish, there’s only one thing I can say in response. Thank you!
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as