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Valerie Esmeralda

intern, Jakarta Globe

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Is growing up (mentally) too fast a good thing or a bad thing?

Just a quick background: I'm 16 years old, I have an elder sister and we're 10 years apart. I spend a lot of (or probably too much) time hanging out with much older people (mentors, older siblings, etc), and I enjoy being around them. And somehow, I enjoy it when they share their issues to me. (Work, money, etc)
I didn't realize about this, until I tried to talk to a friend of the same age about an issue I'm concerned about, and the only thing she said was, "Really? You worry about those kinds of stuff?"
Day by day, the more I realize that I don't enjoy hanging out with friends of the same age group that much. My friends are all wondering how come I know a lot about the current issues, especially politics, and I told them I watch a lot of news on TV and read the paper, and they said, "Really? You can stand that?"
An older friend told me that I really should keep hanging out with friends of the same age group as well, just to "keep me in the ballpark".

I like being a few pages ahead of my friends, but do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing? I appreciate your opinions. Thanks a lot!

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    Jul 18 2013: I think, understanding "adult issues" can make your life a lot easier. It helps immensely to see motivations and reasons for other people's words, actions, and requirements. Teenagers often perceive adults from their "fishbowl". They don't understand why adults make them do this and that, why adults are upset by their attitude, what is expected from them and why. When you understand other people, it's easier to find things in common with them and give them what they want. This skill, by the way, is, usually, well paid for.

    Many people carry their teenage angry and defiant attitudes into the adulthood and they don't understand why "the whole world is against them" - why their boss is such a jerk, why they don't get a job offer after an interview. It often is a result of lack of understanding of other people's issues and problems.

    It took me a while to "get it". Even after 10 years into my career, I, sometimes, was upset with decisions made by the management of the company I work for. I manage quality. So, sometimes, there was a feeling of frustration about aggressive schedules for new products which did not allow for proper development, testing, and debug which resulted in quality issues, customer returns, etc. Many people in the company were upset because their requests for new test equipment were turned down, people were laid off in the midst of aggressive new product development. etc.

    But then, I learned to "put myself in their shoes" and my perception and attitude changed. Life became a lot easier at work. It's important to understand how those executive decisions are made, why policies exist, etc. When there is a request from your boss, if you understand the purpose behind the request, it empowers you to give back what is needed without asking unnecessary questions.

    If you understand that when you start your career, your career will be very successful
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      Jul 18 2013: Arkady,
      Reading your comment reminds me of one of my favorite life philosophies, which I think about often...

      "Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference".

      I say it to myself, because I do not believe anyone can give us the gifts of serenity, acceptance, courage, or wisdom to know the difference. We need to find that for ourselves, in ourselves.

      Seems like you have discovered it with your ability to put yourself in their shoes (compassion), which caused a change in perception and attitude. Well done my friend:>)
      • Jul 19 2013: I also love this quote:

        “You can't change other people. You can only change yourself. Everyone's got problems. You learn from them, you live with them, you move on. It's choice you make if you want to have a happy life. Nobody's perfect. People are different and that's what makes them so interesting. You only get one father. The quicker you accept him for who he is, the better your life will be. Your father is who he is. Nobody can change that. Find your self esteem from the inside.”

        :)
    • Jul 19 2013: Yep, I'm always trying to put myself in other people's shoes. It's very hard to do, but I know that by doing it often, I'll be good at it, and it will all pay off :)
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      Jul 21 2013: Arkady, I have to ask, did you put yourself in the shoes of the people that were laid off or only the executives? Lay off, sounds like a good decision for selfish reasons.

      If I understand correctly, there is only so much someone can change? We should believe there are somethings we can not change? Sorry, sounds fatal. :) It sounds like we should let fate/hope decide rather than suffer to make change of anything for the better. Or maybe it's jsut a measurement of self courage up for your interpretation?

      People can change people. Look into history. Some were for the better and some for the horrific worst. Galileo! It takes time, only a matter of time. On an individual basis, no one is exactly like the other and if they are one of them is faking it. Accepting the differences and compromising is what matters the most. Find out how two people can benefit in two different ways.
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        Jul 21 2013: I am in the shoes of the people who are being laid off. When you are a CEO of a company, you are NOT the owner. If it's a large public company, the owners are shareholders - venture capitalists and investors of all kinds. CEO reports to the board of directors. CEO can lose his job as everyone else. Laying off people is rarely a selfish decision made because an executive is greedy. Very often, the people are much needed, but if the company does not make enough money, you need to cut costs. It sucks for all sides involved.

        People can change people - yes. But, usually, it's through personal example, not through advice, nagging, or complaining, with deliberate purpose of changing someone.
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        Jul 22 2013: This is going into the "us" vs. "them" direction. My point is that understanding the point of view of senior people - be it parents or your boss is beneficial. I'm not discussing who is right or wrong.

        When times were tough at the company where I work, the company laid off 10% people AND all executives took a 25% pay cut. So, I do know, at least, one.
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          Jul 23 2013: Na, it's pointing out the "us" vs. "us" direction "we" go farther and farther into. And feelings hardly ever win.

          "not through advice, nagging, or complaining"

          Nope, through empathy. It's always always about the best for "the company" rather than best for "the people". It's best for the company to lay off. It's best for the people to work less without change in pay and everyone benefits from the technology aid or advancement. Everyone has more time with family or whatever. They ALL worked hard as a TEAM. Would a soccer game be any good if the only player on the team that scored a point benefit from that point? Why in the hell does it happen in the workforce? Because there is no more "team" (don't know if ever was). Same as pay cuts, everyone shares the hardships, just the opposite direction. Who or what is the company, really? The people!

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