Through a child’s eyes, the adult is a wise brave creature who understands the ways of the world. We spent a large portion of our childhood emulating the adult and cannot wait until then day when we can do as they do, and understand the world like them. At 26 years of age, I feel as though I am still a long way off from being an adult. The understanding of the world has not yet come, and I still do not feel quite complete. However, I have come to an understanding about adults and it is this realization I wish to share.
It is important to realize that although the adult may from their outside appearance, seem as though they are confident in themselves, they were once also a child and still harbor many of the same fears and emotions. Adults need to be loved, hugged and complimented just as the child. They need to hear that their work is good and to keep trying. The difference between an adult and a child is that the adult has learned how to conceal their emotions and will not burst into tears upon receiving criticism. They have hardened and appear tough, yet deep down unconstructive criticism still hurts.
Since adults come in all shapes, sizes, intellects and physical strengths it is important to examine each one individually.
The intellectual shall prance around as though they have come to understand the world and how it works. They will harbor much pride since it is quite true that they know more than the common man. Yet, if a professor was to write a book and his colleagues attack his writings like a savage wolf, he will indeed feel pain and be hurt. The professor’s pride has become weak and he will put up a defense to shield himself from these attacks. But it is quite impossible to deflect all of these bullets away. Some will slip through the shield and strike him. The one who best knows this is not the pupil nor colleague, but his own wife and mother. His mother will see him still as a little boy and recall the days when he came running to her with tears in his eyes and needed comfort. When you love someone deeply, you will know what causes them pain although he may not let it show.
The Athlete from the exterior looks strong and confident. Yet, I know from my experience and friendships with great athletes that they too have not escaped from the vulnerability that envelops the child. Many athletes will believe they are not smart, and if one were to attack their intellect, they will deflect the attack as a shield does a rock. Yet the vibration does have the potential to rattle them to the core if the rock is thrown with enough force. They will let no one know but the harsh words will remain in their thoughts. They too need to be hugged and told that they’ve done well.
The most vulnerable is the beauty queen. The beauty queen on the outside looks confident and powerful as she sails down the catwalk. One would think that this woman would have confidence since she has so many admirers. Yet, beneath this exterior is a very vulnerable person who has no shield. I have been told by the most beautiful of women that they have no self-confidence. People admire them for their appearance yet they know all too well that beauty is fleeting. For who will be there to support them and give them hugs when the beauty has faded? It is their strength for now, but it is as protective as glass armor. What they need is not comments on their beauty, but sincerity, and one who is interested in who they are on the inside. They must realize that their partner cares about them even if all beauty were to take flight tomorrow. Once this trust has been gained, it is good to ask their opinions about important issues and make them feel complete. Do not be fooled by their intimidating exterior, but look to the child inside them whose eyes would light up at the mention of ice cream or a trip to the zoo. The fancies that were with them as a child have not disappeared. Nor has their desire to be truly loved.
To see the child in the adult is one of the greatest gifts a person can possess. It is all too often we only see what they have become instead of who they were. We become intimidated by their power, and fooled by their façade. Look at them through the eyes of their own mothers and you will see not an intractable miser pressed by the weight of the world, but a little boy or girl who has great dreams, needs hugs, and appreciates that someone cares and looks after them. If you possess this gift, if is critical that it is not abused. It is human nature to desire to be loved, and it is the cruel heartless man who gains the trust of another only to deceive and wound.
If you have a long standing disagreement with a loved one, and have not spoken in a great while, it is best to heed the advice I have given. Look at them through the eyes of their mother and you will not see the hardened old curmudgeon, but the one like the little boy who refuses to eat his vegetables.
The gorgeous beauty queen was once a little Mary or little Suzie who had trouble with long division and spent hours looking down at the equations while dreaming of butterflies. This precious little girl has not disappeared but only gotten bigger and tries hard to be “mature” and forget about butterflies. However, these dreams have only been buried but can be uncovered if you show a little interest and are sincere.
Chief Executive Officer Michael who leads the banking industry was once little Mikey who was scolded by the teacher for making faces at little Suzie. He was not tough then and his face most likely turned red with embarrassment. He could be excited by a trip to the park and a turn in the sandbox. He was not always one who controlled the fortunes of others, nor one turned hardened by the millions wanting him for his money or power. At one time he did not walk with arrogance but during Halloween dressed as a fearsome werewolf, who would pounce if not provided with a few bits of candy.
We must realize that adults are human too and all humans need someone who will be there if their possessions or offices were to disappear. We as adults know that it can turn out very badly for one to fall too far without a safety net. A true friend will always be there, and love them for the child they once were. So let us look beyond their possessions and power for they are unimportant. What is important is that these people still have dreams and a desire for true sincere friendship. Do not see them for what they are, but who they are and used to be. It is impossible to keep little Mikey or Suzie hidden away for long. The little rascal Mikey always seems to find a way out no matter how many padlocks we fix to keep him in his room and little Suzie will continue to think about butterflies no matter how many math problems are put in front of her. Let us cherish this innocence and give them some reprieve from the bitterness of the outside world.