Sunday, August 19

Growing Up Too Fast

Something happened the other day that really made me think. I'll get to what happened later on, so bear with me: what does "growing up too fast" really mean?

(And bear with me; it took me over a week to write this, and some parts really still don't feel quite right, but I'm posting it anyways.)

"Growing up too fast" used to mean that a child had to shoulder responsibilities and had to entertain concepts that would force them to leave childish things behind before most would have them do that. For instance, in the past, children were working full time around the age of fifteen, either because their parents had died, they were needed to help support the family, or they were considered old enough to take on that responsibility. Advancements in namely medical science and technology of all flavors enabled children to have more of an actual childhood.
But what did that bring?
For the purpose of this . . . "article", it brought free time.
Children were able to stay children until they were physically, mentally, and emotionally ready to take on the responsibilities of an adult. They could grow into it gradually, they could be trained, they could be taught, they could consider ideas and grasp the weight of the consequences to every action . . . they could be ready for an adult life.
Then there was too much free time.
Always wanting what was just beyond their grasp.
What do we have now?
We have children growing up too fast, but not in the way of the generations before them.
They have too much free time and a care-free (and care-less) attitude.
And although I can't quite put my finger on it, that's what's driving kids today to act the way they do.
What do I mean by that?

Whilst shopping with my mom and my sister, I saw this girl in Rue 21. Don't get me wrong - I love that store. It's one of the few places I actually enjoy clothes shopping. This really doesn't have anything to do with the store really. That's just where I was. But this girl . . . she had to have been younger than my sister, so maybe fourteen years old. But she looked like a . . . well . . . like a prostitute. I'm sorry to say it, but it's true. Her clothes, the way she wore them, the way her makeup was done - and for the record, I have a personal thing about girls that young wearing makeup - the way her hair was done . . . that's what she looked like. If she was on the street at night, I would have thought she was one.
But I remember looking at her and thinking, "Wow. She's grown up too fast."
Then it hit me: society tries to keep us busy, entertained . . . it tries to keep us children.
But in spite of that, we grow up. . . And not always in the best way.

So yeah. I just felt like I should post that.
I mean, innocence is an awesome thing.
Not naivete, that's not necessarily the same thing.
But innocence, purity . . . That's a lost treasure in this society.