When do we grow up? At 21 years old? 30? 40? Or perhaps 50 or even 60? When do we start not showing off to people like an adolescent? Or at what age do we stop trying to be better than everyone else around us? Don’t ponder these question too hard because the answer, in many cases, is never.
When I was 18 I thought I was an adult. But I didn’t feel much like one. As the years went on I still wondered when I’d truly feel as a full-fledged adult. I carried a gun on my job, did very responsible and important things but I still didn’t really feel like I was grown up. So I thought on, when would I really feel like a grown up? When I had kids? When I became a boss? When I had a lot of influence and people followed my direction? Or maybe when I started to get wrinkled and start to bald, perhaps, that’s when I’d be grown up and mature. Well, the answer for me and to all of us in my view, is yes to all of what I pondered about. But also no to all of my self-questions as well. All that I mentioned certainly show that we are a bit older and a bit more mature and perhaps getting closer to being all grown up but they can also mean very little in the grown up department.
Many people go to their graves still trying to prove themselves, still trying to be one up and a bit over other people and constantly showing off. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen accomplished men and women who have had accolades and successes all of their lives and yet still continually try to prove their worth or power to others. You’ve probably seen it too. Sad. In fact, very sad.
What a wretched way to feel about yourself when you have to try and best others—all of your life. Don’t they know that being that way and doing those things means very little in the scope of things? If it gets you a job, or money or the win in the sporting event that you may be involved in, fine, but it’s much more than just these things in life. It’s having to constantly try and be better than others or in control of others in some way.
Even if someone thinks that we’re good or actually thinks that we are better than them it means nothing. Other people thinking that we are better does not make us so. What makes us so is believing in ourselves as being good, good-enough and as good as any human being walking the face of the globe. And we are these things just by being alive and being human. If we want to excel at a sport or a job we hone those particular skills and work extremely hard to excel and be good at them but again, those should be just in a few chosen endeavors and when we reach our goals in these sports or jobs we should let go of the great mountain climb of pretty much doing everything to succeed or be good. Looking for others to tell us that we are good, great or that we are the best is a dead end road. It leads to nowhere. It is the wrong road of getting to be one with ourselves and of being “good”.
I say don’t try to better than everyone else. Don’t try to show off too much. Don’t be too competitive. It means diddlysquat. Find yourself and your important goals and accomplish them, most of the time with the help of others and smile during the journey getting there because that’s life. It’s the journey toward the goal that life is all about. It’s about the people we meet and connect with, those that we touch, and those that we love along the trip to our goals that is the real meaningful part of being “good”.
It’s not showing off. It’s not constant one-upmanship. Maybe when we realize that we are good no matter what and that we can progress and be very good in chosen ways if we strive hard, coupled with understanding that it only really matters when we do it for us, our families and people we connect with, do we become mature. I say that’s when we have grown up. And growing up feels great.
Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer.
For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.
Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
Latest posts by Steve Kovacs (see all)
- Black Lives Really Mattering and My Friend the Boxer - September 7, 2017
- Meaning—Makes the Man and Woman–Makes the Difference - August 28, 2017
- Bars, Demonstrations, and Getting Thumped… - August 14, 2017