Why I Don’t Believe Older People, or 10 Cruel Truths They Forgot to Tell Me

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Children have the disadvantage of being dependent on adults. They believe that older people are here to help them, show them the way to a happy life and pass on only good things to them. I also believed that. I don’t believe it any more.

Whenever I had an idea, they thought it was stupid.

Whenever I wanted to be myself, I was told how naïve I was, still a little boy, and that I should listen to them, because they had more experience and knew everything better: “The most important thing is to be good and do what older people tell you. Learn, so that you have work, then a flat, then a car, then…”

But I, a stupid little child, constantly asked: And will I be happy then?

Now I’m as old as they were at that time. And I’m protesting against how older people guided me and cheated me. I shout out: Why did you force me to be reconciled to having a little? Why did you prevent me from chasing my dreams? Why did you take away so many years, my appetite, and motivation? Why did you lie to me, saying you had a monopoly on good sense and your way was the only right way?

If the youngest and littlest boy from the whole class stood before me today and wanted to be different, I would loudly tell him to follow his heart. I would be afraid to say to him—no matter how crazy his idea—“You can’t do it”, because I know that he could do it, that no aim is so high that it cannot be attained by a person who believes in himself. And primarily I would advise him not to trust people who confuse old age with wisdom, a miserable existence with living, mundane events with those truly lived and age with experience. And that too often we forget the ten merciless truths that every child should hear:

1) The average human life is short

We know that life is short and death awaits each of us. Despite this, we are surprised whenever death takes somebody we knew. At these times it is as though we become disconnected for a time from the electrical circuit that drives the wheel we run in without pause like mice, and remember that we are only living NOW.

Older people scared me with death. It’s terrible! “So, little Pete, it’s better to pretend it doesn’t exist, just ignore it.” But I say the opposite: Let’s not ignore death, or be afraid of it. Let’s be more afraid of life if we aren’t living it to the full—only because we’re too frightened to act. Death is not the greatest loss that a person can suffer. The greatest loss is to die a long time beforehand inside yourself, while you’re still alive. Let’s have no more resignation, let’s be bold. No passivity, we’ll be active. Let’s not be afraid of death, but let’s be afraid as we approach death that in our whole life we didn’t chase our dreams.

Boy playing with toy airplane

2) We will get the life we make for ourselves

I believed adults when they advised me about what I was to do with my life. They gave me bad advice, and today I regret listening to them. I should blame them for it, but there is no point—they weren’t trying to do wrong. They simply could not know what is right for me.

Our life is only ours. Other people can try to convince us, but they can’t make decisions for us. They can walk by our side, but never in our shoes. Please try to ensure that the path you are walking is in accordance with your intuition and desires. And if it is not, don’t be afraid to jump into another track, change course or blaze your own trail.

It is always better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than at the top of another ladder where you don’t feel good at all. The ladder is our life and where we go is our choice. We will not live a life other than that we make for ourselves. Let’s try to ensure that our actions speak louder than our lips. To fulfil what we dream of for our life.

Older people taught me that I would be happy if I just listened. It was a lie. If life has taught me one thing, it is this: A step that we take of our own free will, happily and with passion, is always worth it. Even if we don’t know where we are right now, even if the environment seems unknown to us, it’s like being on a tropical island we’ve never been to before, but wanted to see—we feel wonderful there. Because what we have done is in harmony with what we wanted. With what brings a feeling of fulfilment.

Are you interested in truths 3-10?

Please, continue to the 2nd page