Don’t grow up. Not ever. Don’t turn into an adult. That’s my best advice to you. Resist adulthood. Be a kid forever.
Right now, a lot of adults are angry in America. We have a lot to be angry about. Adults can behave badly when they are angry. So please forgive us.
Because the truth is (and I probably shouldn’t be telling you this) adults can act pretty stupid.
Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean we’re “stupid” in a negative sense. Truly, I don’t. After all, just because someone is stupid doesn’t mean you can’t love them. Take dogs. Dogs can be very unsmart, but we still love them. Cartoons can be ingloriously stupid, but they are also kind of wonderful.
Still, this doesn’t change the fact that we adult humans are, in fact, giant dipsticks. The problem is, of course, that we adults think we are brilliant. The idiot thinks he’s wise, but the truly wise man knows he’s an idiot.
Oh sure, our species occasionally does some brilliant things here on earth. Booze is only one example.
Also, we’re not total fools. Humankind has learned how to manufacture smartphones with touchscreens capable of flushing our toilets from outer space. We can perform surgery from 4,000 miles away through robotic technology, and we produced Dolly Parton.
But this doesn’t make us smart. Because we still don’t know how to listen. We don’t empathize, and even though our parents tried to teach us, we still don’t know how to share.
You know what we DO know how to do?
We know how to kill each other. Again, I’m not being pessimistic. This is just a fact of humanhood. Slaughter is a defining behavior for our species. We are among the only mammals who kill one another.
Tigers do not kill tigers. Deer, although they fight, do not often kill deer. When was the last time you saw cows killing each other? How about bunny rabbits?
We humans are a different breed.
Look at history. The Punic Wars in (164 B.C.), 2 million killed. The Jewish-Roman Wars, (66 A.D.) another 2 million. The Crusades (1095-1229) 3 million. The Mongol Invasions, 40 million. The Conquests of Timur, 20 million. Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire, 2.5 million. Spanish Conquest of the Incan Empire, 8.5 million. The American Civil War, 1 million. World War I, 40 million. World War II, 85 million. Vietnam War, 4 million. The Afghanistan Conflict, 2 million. The War on Terror, 1.26 million. The Russian-Ukrainian War, at least 100,000.
I don’t mean to disturb you, I simply bring this up because I want you to know where you fit in to all this.
You see, you’re not like us. At least not yet. You were born into this wonderful world with a clean slate. Although you look like a tiny adult, you are unlike adults in every way.
Yes, you share our same genes, our DNA, our physical traits. Yes, you possess our same love of fried food, and cheese, but you’re better than we are.
Primarily because you are oblivious to our adult fussing and our adult need to be right. Your entire kid philosophy is “Let’s have fun together!” That’s it. That’s how you see this world. That’s all you want from life — fun.
Every morning you wake up and look for the party. For you, every day carries the possibility of magic, music, art and friends. There are no taboos in your world. No villains. You forgive easily. You love everything. And even the things you hate, you love hating those things.
You are perpetually excited, rarely disappointed, hopeful about tomorrow, optimistic to a fault, miraculously naive, way too trusting, and you believe in God without even trying.
The very best thing about you, however, is that you see greatness in us adults. We are not great, but you look at us as though we are. To you, we are strong. To you, we never fail. To you, we are beautiful.
I wish I was like you. I want to be like you. Believe me.
So please don’t grow up. Don’t ever quit loving ice cream, bouncy houses, staying up all night, trips to Disney World, grass stains on your clothes, red-white-and-blue popsicles, or hugs.
Because someday, when you are older, you will eventually learn the truth about us adults. You will see our shortcomings. You will be disappointed in us. And when this happens, I only ask that you don’t judge us too harshly.
For we know not what we do.
John Judkins is a Greenfield attorney.