Those are the facts of the matter. Now I would like to share with you the thoughts and feelings I traversed, as it an example of how what I call immaturity gets in the way of happiness.
Growing up has been given a bad rap. The type of happiness we experience in childhood is truly magical. I am watching my precious little friend Kaile grow up in Hawaii, and as she ripens will into age two, she is filled with laughter serial moments of spontaneous joy. She can speak, so feelings are no longer bottled up inside incommunicado. She can walk and run and is learning to control her body. She can ask (uh, and demand!) what she wants. She has very very few responsibilities!
She has not yet experienced the world’s underbelly.
We think we would prefer this kind of happiness. The happiness that wears blinders, that is very me-centric as to be sure, when we are around her, it’s “The Kaile Show!” on center stage. And I say that smiling at the pleasure I get from being a part of the interactive audience.
What we are not taking into account, is the lack of power and freedom that she has though. She is beholden to the grownups around her – her parents, her many aunties and uncles, her babysitters. Granted, we think we are a pretty cool bunch of caretakers, but still, she doesn’t get her way all the time and in large part, only gets to do what has been pre-determined for her by others.
In childhood, happiness does not coexist with freedom very much. To be cared for so completely and to have so few responsibilities and to live in a world that appears carefree, is also to be under the care and control of others who are managing the responsibilities.
Life is full of responsibilities. We think they are they are the happiness killers. They can be doors to freedom though and a type of happiness that is impossible to experience in childhood.
[This is part of continuous thread of writings I did in bali earlier this year; you can follow them in order.]