Size of the World

Size of the World

My baby daughter’s world is such that the music of her father’s voice is enough to create happiness to the core of her being. Her world is such that the wetness and acidity of a spicy dinner coverted to milk will create pain and suffering to the core of her being. Her world is an expanding sphere of experiences and mental frameworks, and experiences quickly reach the edge of what is possible, knowable and in itself, experiencable. Thus, the emotions run the course, right up against the experience itself, in filling her world of capabilities and potential. When she has happiness, she has it unadulterated and fully, like nothing any adult can match.

But then I think of adults, and their ego. Surely a child’s world is smaller, and thus lies the pretentious judgement that says smaller must be inferior, and that a child’s world must always be smaller, and therefore in need of direction.

Great, until the child becomes an adult themselves, and the parent hangs on to the notion that the world continues to be smaller than their own, and thus in need of direction.

The hubris of the adult world, to think that their world will always be bigger, and thus always be superior. Hell, I’d trade a year of adult life (granted, not all) to experience a week as a child through their mental constructs. The pureness of it is amazing. The wonder and the possibilities are energizing.

What frustrates me, is the hubris to think that a person’s world will always be bigger, and I’ve come to the strong opinion that it is not guaranteed (and in fact, a struggle as you get older) to keep your world, your sphere of potential experiences, bigger. I’d be a fool to say that the weight of experiences does not grow continuously — such is monotonically increasing. But I’ve seen too many of people shut down in their lives as age creeps in, and to hold onto the age as proof of their superiority as there world of potential and possibility decays away.

Youth has its purpose, and not just for youth. Youth has it’s purpose in old age, and to be without it, guarantees only a life of sidelooking dismissiveness, vicarious living, unfulfilling nostalgia, and unjustified superiority. These are the people who are unable to let go of their hubris and unable come to terms with the fact that it might actually be possible that one’s world shrinks as they age, without strict and muscled effort against it. Your world will shrink without exercise by human nature. Children should be admired for their relentlessness.

I do not believe that one should ever reach an age where “they can say whatever the hell the damn well please to say”, as my own grandmother stated at the age of 76. Either do it from the start, or never — just don’t use age as the justification.

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