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Is the notion of "adult" a misleading myth?

Grow up! Act like an adult! These are things we may have heard when growing up. Yet, do I want to become an adult? What is the benefit? I am not suggesting we stay childish but perhaps there is merit in honing our skills to become more childlike? Business coach Robin Sharma says it hit him one day when he asked his kids what they were up to. They replied, "We're going to play!" He wondered at what point had he lost this gift of "playing."
To be an "adult" (seems to me), to be filled with fear, stress, and brain numbing pragmatism. To be childlike is not the same as childish. One can still be responsible and accountable and still be childlike...full of wonder, acceptance and the willingness to try.
In fact, I wonder if "childish" is somehow synonymous with "adult? Adults who want what they want when they want it. Who pout and give the silent treatment to those who do not cooperate with them. Who drink, eat and smoke too much while being mostly sedentary. Doesn't this "adult" sound like a brat? Childish?
To maintain and develop our sense of child-likeness would encourage creativity, passion, fun while developing responsibility and accountability.

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    Mar 19 2014: I definitely agree that this represents a misleading myth. The only real maturation that I find valid is learning to think about others more than yourself. Other supposed signs of maturity; social norms, physical development, being money-minded, and liking or not liking certain things; really aren't notions that we should concern ourselves over.
    • Mar 20 2014: It seems to me that children are often better at learning to think about others than their self. Observational studies in fact show the development of empathy in children starting fairly early. N.ot that adult empathy is a rarity, however I think it is often tempered by experiential "sourness." As a result adult empathy I think tends to be more selective than a child's.
      I still think "adulthood" is over-rated!.
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        Mar 20 2014: I mainly agree, however it's one thing to be kind and trustworthy to others when you have had no to little experience with being hurt by them, while it's another thing to think about others after having had experience with them. Being kind to others when you know that they might not be appreciative and they might hurt you in return is a lot harder to do, and I believe it requires and indicates a higher level of moral maturation than is possible in kids.

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