Grace WareDr. ShaferEnglish 10225 January 2018DefiningAdulthood When some people think of”adulthood,” they think about somebody independent. They have their own car,they’ve moved out of their parents’ house, and they have a job with a steadyincome. Then, there are some people who think that you are an adult the momentyou reach your eighteenth birthday – the people who think this tend to be theones who are either under the age of eighteen or have just celebrated thatmagic, life changing birthday.
I am here to tell you that there is no magicbirthday, and independence does not equal adulthood. Adulthood has more to do with responsibilityand maturity than anything else. I have known children who are more capable ofrational thoughts and decisions than many “adults” I know. One example being myuncle. He is forty-seven years old, has a steady income, and lives on his own.He is, by definition of the word, independent, and yet I would not consider himto be an adult. He has the maturity you would expect to find in someoneone-third his age and is known to never take responsibility for the things hehas done in his life.
He is a divorced father of two girls from differentmothers, and still goes out and gets drunk every weekend instead of being afather to his children. He is, however, very good at playing the role of fununcle which takes decidedly less maturity.Further,while there are certainly eighteen-year old’s who could rightly be consideredadults, many are still years away from true adulthood and many more may neverget there. In the words of one Mr.
Thomas Szasz, “A child becomes an adult whenhe realizes that he has a right not only to be right, but also to be wrong.” Inother words, you cannot become an adult until you realize that it is okay to bewrong. Recognizing this enables you to take responsibility for yourself, andfor those wrongdoings. The people who never come to this realization, who neverobtain the maturity needed to admit when they are wrong, are the ones who neverreally become adults. They go through life with the maturity of aneight-year-old who won’t admit to breaking a lamp.
Anotherimportant realization you need to come to in order to achieve adulthood, isthat you alone are in charge of your life. As said by Roy T. Bennet, “When you stop complaining and makingexcuses, you realize everything that happens in life is a result of theprevious choices you’ve made and start making new choices to change your life.”Each of us makes choices every day, from small things like what shirt to wearor what drink to have with lunch, to things that could truly change your life –like making the choice to go to college and get an education, or maybe to quitthat job you hate. While it is impossible to know how some choices may affectyou in the long run, a part of being an adult is having the ability to weighthe pros and cons, make sometimes difficult decisions, and take responsibilityfor what those decisions may bring – good or bad.
All in all, being an adult is not somethingthat happens when you reach a certain age, or when you decide to move out onyour own, although it is true that that may help move you in the rightdirection. It happens when you decide to truly take responsibility foryourself, and occasionally for those around you. It happens when you stopmaking excuses for yourself and take charge of your life instead of sitting onthe sidelines and letting others choose your path for you.
Basically, allthat’s required to be an adult is the maturity and good sense to stop actinglike a spoiled toddler.