Growing up is hard. It is likely that you have heard this phrase on more than one occasion or that it has even come from your lips. When you started your own journey towards adulthood, you felt that it was difficult to adapt to the world of the adults but now that you are part of that universe, if you look back you are likely to experience certain indifference.
When a child or teenager complains that school is difficult, it will first remember you the confusion you experienced at their age but then a sense of indifference will come over you. The same happens when you see a child who wants a new toy with all his strength and finally succeeds: you cannot identify with that childish emotion, even though you experienced it at some point in the past.
That indifference moves to many areas of life, closing our eyes to the incredible miracle that represents the world around us. The emotional maturity implies that we abandon our way of looking at things as children. We assume adulthood as a destiny, and when we arrive we are expected to be free of excessive optimism, sensitivity and childhood curiosity. As a result, we wear a layer of indifference, which not only isolates us from the world but also from ourselves.
From curious child to indifferent adult
Children think and act at the moment. They are almost always fully present. They do not care much about what the others think because a lot of their mind is occupied with fun and imagination. Smaller things, like a flower, can be extremely interesting because they arouse their curiosity.
However, as we grow, the idea of self-control is taking over our minds. They teach us to focus more on ourselves and to judge our actions or decisions according to the results obtained, not according to the pleasure and satisfaction that they give us. Society tells us to be aware of how the others perceive us, tells us that if we want to be accepted, we must behave like adults.
Then, that wonderful flower becomes only a flower. The magic has disappeared and our curiosity is extinguished. Indifference and apathy are established instead.
When we become adults, we limit ourselves more than ever. A child’s mind does not know many things, but it remains open to everything. The mind of the adult knows some things, but is closed to almost everything. Responsibilities come to the fore and our dreams and interests stop being a priority.
Worst of all, we do not even question how we schedule our priorities based on what society classifies as “normal”. We become indifferent to the person we were and do not pay attention to the infinite possibilities that go away from the norm. Thus we disconnect from our essence, so it is not strange that we end up feeling overwhelmed, stressed, distant…
However, we do not even stop at that moment, because society dictates that we should not stop, because it is a waste of time, an unnecessary distraction. And we convince ourselves that this is the adult way of thinking and acting, which is the “right” way to do things.
As a result, we end up living on automatic pilot. We stop growing, experimenting, discovering, feeling genuine curiosity and desiring intensively something… We join the masses and live in an uniformed way, according to what is expected from us.
To grow is necessary, to be indifferent is optional
Indifference is the tombstone of personal development, but growing up does not necessarily implies becoming indifferent. The secret lies in replacing judgments with curiosity, so we can reconnect with our inner child.
It is important that we begin to ask ourselves why we consider “weird” or “embarrassing” something we would really like to do. We will discover that we contain ourselves because we fear the judgment of the others. At some point someone told us, or let us glimpse, that these things were strange or embarrassing. And we assume his vision of the world, without realizing that it does not have to be ours.
What benefits would you gain from changing that perception? Would you feel freer or more authentic?
When you allow your mind to open up to all possibilities and reconnect with your dreams, you discover that many of the adult reasons aren’t really so reasonable. Then indifference gives way to curiosity and sensitivity. It is a way back that is worth undertaking.