Childish Things …

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” ~ Anais Nin

We are all a work in progress. We learn, we grow, we adapt, we change. Life is a process of becoming the best we can be, we will never be perfect. If you take time to watch young children at play and compare that to adults sharing a cup of coffee and conversation the growth process is quite apparent. As the Bible says: “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)

Those childish things are what can annoy an adult after a period of time spent with young children. However, if we are honest with ourselves, some of those childish behaviors reappear in adulthood, too. In my opinion, somethings considered childish are things we can still learn from because they work. For instance … there are times when I can’t control the urge to make a childish gesture. I just have to stick my tongue out at someone. 😛

Should that be considered childish? Think about it … The gesture is a playful way to say “this is ridiculous, let’s laugh at ourselves”. And, it works! Sticking your tongue out at someone allows you to send a small rejection in a non-threatening way and create a smile at the same time. In my opinion, this great invention is not just for kids. It keeps things simple and yet lets you release some pent-up emotions. It allows you to admit defeat as well as disagree and it is universal.

Most of the many extra options you can add to the gesture are what changes its effects and meaning. I adamantly agree, these additions morph the gesture into the childish category. For instance, you can turn it into a “razpberry” by adding sound (and probably a little spit) to it to really get noticed. Or, adding a little action by thumbing your nose at the same time. Remember that? Where you put your thumb on your nose, stick out your tongue and wiggle your fingers. It is usually accompanied by singing “nah-nah NAH na naaaah-nah” or something similar that is definitely taunting because it says “I dare you” (that version is definitely too childish for an adult ;-)). Crossing your eyes with any version is also optional and usually sends the message that the other person is crazy.

In my opinion, the simple act of sticking out your tongue is not a strictly childish act and should be reclassified, don’t you agree? To clarify, I am not advocating for all the varied versions of the gesture to be “okay” for adults to use, just the simple act of sticking out your tongue. (crossed eyes optional) 😀

Can you think of anything else that has been mistakenly classified as “childish”? 😉

As I write, it has started to snow … 😛 at Mother Nature for teasing us with Spring.

“If it seems a childish thing to do, do it in remembrance that you are a child.” ~ Frederick Buechner

My latest photo, Misty Magnification, can be found at Bear In Sight.

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~ by bearyweather on April 9, 2012.

10 Responses to “Childish Things …”

  1. I think it’s good for us to embrace our child-like nature at times, bearyweather. Why stay all grown-up and stodgy and edit our every feeling? Maybe the trick is KNOWING when to stick out our tongue–and with whom we can do it. Great post.

    • Good point Kathy. Since we are adults and know whom we can and cannot stick out tongues out at … maybe that is what makes the act not childish? (sometimes I can not resist embracing my child-like nature 😛 )

  2. Hi Bearyweather, I sure did like the post today and loved your dear deer! (pun indended). These actions as you have described, would in years back been highly rude. Today, such behavior is way way way tame compared with profanity and possible mild violence. The profanity is how many kids and younger adults express distain these days. I rather like that “Childishness” as you have described in your post, compared with modern profanity and such. Have a great Tuesday tomorrow!

    • I agree … very mild and innocent compared to what is going on out in the world today. I think our children are in need of more innocence and silliness in their lives … I am glad that I was a kid way back when, I think it is tougher today and they have to grow up way too fast.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. It’s a wonderful thing to reclaim our childhoods….considering I do daycare I get to act like a child daily, and I love it!

    • Is there any “childish” thing that seeps into your adult life? Would you stick your tongue out at someone or something outside the daycare setting?

  4. I’m all in favor of sticking out your tongue being reclassified. I still use it and it is, as you mention, a very good way to get a point across. 😛

    • Thanks for supporting this important social action …

      Now, how do we make it an official reclassification? Do we need a petition? Maybe we just need to demonstrate it more and pass out fliers letting people know? T-shirts? Billboards? … I know, a YouTube Video. Like that contagious laughing one where everyone just adds a laugh to it and it grows .. we will add 😛

  5. Childish things include many important attitudes that we tend to lose touch with, such as a sense of wonder, playfulness, and a lack of knowing what we ‘should’ think or do about any given subject.

    • I agree. Sometimes my reaction of 😛 can seem childish to some, but it is very effective when there is nothing else to respond with. it’s playfulness definitely changes attitudes around in a much more positive way then … lets say …. and adult hand gesture.
      thanks for adding to the conversation.

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