Come And Be A Kid Again

This was the headline my partner, Rich, wrote for an advertising account which put on county fairs. It was written years ago when we were in the ad game.  I woke up this morning with this mantra reverberating in my mind. I realized how important it was, and like a dream that you can remember while coming out of the reverie state, the details of the dream will be gone in a flash if you don’t consciously catch them. I lay there trying to imagine all of the things that used to go through my mind at various ages.  But most importantly I tried to remember what I thought about when I was free to imagine and to  just check it out.  Let me stop here because it is at the interface of being a responsible member of the culture, setting family and grownup responsibilities aside, and just being free that I want to re-visit.

It is to this interface or portal  to which I want to return, because it is at this juncture that we are herded away and  into the dictates of our world. We stop  investigating that other portal. Once we start down the path of adult learning and  responsibilities our minds become absorbed with just how to do this. We are eager to learn what the new rules are, because not learning them seems to deliver pain. We want to belong and have fun, and we don’t know where the limits of our freedom ends and adult behavior begins.  We learn manners, how to dress, what to say; in short we learn what our parents, teachers, and other grown ups tell us we must do. Then of course we observe that some of us have more or less than others. We observe kindness, strictness, and meanness. There is more.

The vast majority of us (except for those wired for psychopathic and sociopathic tendencies) come hardwired to a degree with an understanding of fairness and a sense of morality.  We explore these concepts with our peers by trial and error and of course are told daily by parents, teachers, and other kids what the rules are if we not only want to survive but live well.  We experiment on our own. We learn how to be clever, what happens when we break rules, what happens when we  lie, cheat, and  steal . We learn what happens when we behave, study, do what our parents tell us is best.  We observe that some kids seem to be able to do certain things better and how they get rewarded. At the end of these long years of incubation we are molded by our family and our environment enough to be turned loose to sink or swim.  We then struggle to perform to the dictates of that path in the culture we have chosen. We also have to observe the threats to our culture and be on guard so as to preserve and carry on this way of life.  Then there is our career or what we can do for which others will pay us. There are religious dictates telling us how to behave or the consequences. There are social and legal laws and the consequences.

We are at the same time undergoing changes to our physical body. Nature is releasing hormones which compel us to certain behaviors especially with the opposite sex. And there are rules upon rules from our culture about how we are to respond to these new urges.

And finally the kid in us or inner child is all but on life support systems.

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