I often wonder what it is about ageing that automatically makes us more cynical about life? Gone are the days of child like hope and positivity based on an all encompassing assumption that life is utterly magical. Instead of looking out the proverbial window and seeing sunshine and rainbows, we envision a dark sky with a fast approaching rain cloud which threatens to debunk any previous fascination and inquisitiveness about the world outside. Is it naivety that allows children to open their eyes and see the possibilities? Or is it that we adults, have allowed ourselves to be tainted by the struggle that this life?
The assumption that I have come to realise that is the most disempowering, is that life should be easy. Things should fall into place because that’s what the natural order predetermines it to do. I then wonder, how much of what we expect to be the case for our existence, actually isn’t and that this is the ultimate source of all our troubles. We imagine, no actually, we expect the presence of a result for which if we follow the right equation, then the outcome is a given; X + Y = life success. Society almost shouts its unequivocal message at us each and every day, that this preconceived image of how our existence should be is just an instant away, as long as we follow the recipe to a tee. So we go along, believing this and do what we have been told in expectance of life success. The problem with all of this is that no one ever tells us about the presence of the unknown – the existence of unpredictable shocks and blimps on the life radar. The constantly lurking in the shadows figure of the unknown is an entity of which has the unprecedented ability to change every part of the equation and the impact of the result itself. So why does no one warn us about this impending doom? And why is it that we are so easily convinced that life is a disaster if it doesn’t entirely go to plan?
Does the sun still not shine as bright? Is the beauty of all things instantaneously snatched away when the life plan deviates in another direction? The point I am trying to illustrate here, is that, surely if society as a whole took to promoting messages of imperfection and resilience, illustrating the beauty and wonder that occurs when life changes are essential; instead of ones of perfection and unattainable ideals, then surely we would be a species far less doom and gloom and constantly neurotic than we are!
Yes, the children that looked out the window and saw sunshine, lollipops and rainbows have grown up. But that doesn’t mean that the hope they so naturally exhibited has to disappear with them. The aspect of naivety in this situation isn’t being hopeful, it’s the misunderstanding of the presence of the life recipe for perfection. Life will have its inevitable lows, failures and downturns but having an understanding that there is magnificence and growth to be had within this surely is the key to living a life that is real, fulfilled and worth it at the end of the day.