Just a Number

night scene showing young boy with a little moon in his hands sitting on meadow, digital art style, illustration painting

For kids, time seems to crawl at a snail’s pace. The eight-year-old wants to grow up fast so that he can do more of what he is told he cannot yet do. Once grown, he becomes painfully aware of the desire to just be a kid again. Age is just a number. A lot of people today might see building Legos, playing with action figures, or even watching cartoons as childish, not being mature, or refusing to “grow up.” Growing up does not mean that the inner child must die. Maturity is not defined by nostalgic desire. 

A saying heard in a toy shop a few years ago struck a chord: “You don’t stop playing when you grow old. You grow old when you stop playing.” That really hit home. My favorite things today are comic books, Legos, and cartoons. This does not mean to lay aside responsibilities and to avoid growing up in the literal sense, but it might mean to search your true passions and desires. Do not neglect the power of imagination when looking to future goals, whether that leads to a 4-year liberal arts education or not. The inner child is a most valuable thing.

There are way too many examples, both on social media, or through direct in person contact, weaponizing a mentality of what it means to be or not to be moving on toward future endeavors. Judgment is a very real issue today, and it often bleeds over into many varying fields, whether in the high school setting, the workplace, or in the ending of friendships. Many doors close where they could have opened.

Age is just a number. Don’t lose your inner child. Keep your imagination. Most businesses started with an idea and an imagination. Big name ideas began this way. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles started as two guys making each other laugh with their drawings and grew into a small underground comic, which then evolved into the creators Eastman and Laird allowing others to come in and put their stories and twist on the iconic characters. With a childlike outlook and imagination, anything is possible.



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