Why Do We Have To Grow Up?

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By Lance Seeto

I often wonder why it’s so damn hard to just be a big kid no matter how old you are, and hanging on to that carefree child even when you grow up. Why can’t we hold hands with our best friend in public without people thinking of sexual connotations? Why can’t we go outside, play, sing and dance whether its raining or sunny without people thinking we’re crazy? And why is it so hard for adults to smile or laugh, as if it is a sin or embarrassing thing to do?

If you remember the 1988 Tom Hank’s movie “Big”, it was about a 12 year old boy who made a wish at a magic wish machine to be a grown-up. The movie was about not getting caught up in society’s stringent rules and routines but remembering those things that made being young so great. It was about having a more innocent outlook on life, especially when facing the mundane world of adulthood. Western society teaches us to relinquish and suppress this inner child once we reach our teenage years. “Grow up, you’re not a child anymore! Stop being childish!” are words drummed into most of us kids. But psychologists as far back as Carl Jung believed that the inner child or divine child in all of us, is our sub-personality, that influences our instinctual needs, emotions and behaviour as adults. Our emotional experiences and earliest memories as children, both positive and negative, form part of our psyche in later life and are the basis of how we react to situations in an adult world.

But we spend most of our adulthood suppressing that innocence, with many of us depriving ourselves of the most simple joys of life, until we get too old and don’t care what others think, and nor does society care about the crazy antics of an old person. But not everyone lives like this. The Dalai Lama and his Buddhist followers, plus millions of Indians understand that laughter, happiness and joy are key to a healthy lifestyle.

So it’s no wonder that the native Fijian’s, without Western society’s pressure to conform, hang on to that inner child for most of their lives. They laugh, sing, dance and hold hands just as children love to do. They wake up each day and wonder about the things they can do today – regardless of weather, money or expectations. They go to work singing, laughing and smiling each day, no matter what their age or background. The workplace for a Fijian is just another part of their daily world to enjoy and embrace.

You just have to be jealous of the native Fijian people. They are born to their ancestral land and have no worries of a bank mortgage, home loans or credit card debts. Without the worry of money and finances like most cultures, they wake up each day and smile. It’s a pity we can’t all be big kids forever.

Join a safari of life, ancient culture and fresh wild foods at http://www.fijianfoodsafari.com
Follow this author’s culinary and cultural adventures in the South Pacific, living with the descendants of an ancient civilization that doesn’t live like the Western world. Explore, discover and be inspired by a world that Tom Hanks made popular in the film “Cast Away” with pristine oceans, no food allergies and an example of how the world should really be.

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