Despite, not being a sci-fi horror reader, I adore almost all of Orson Scott Card’s works (I haven’t quite gotten to all of them yet). If you don’t know who that is…well we can no longer be friends. Delete following my account. Do IT NOW!!!… Just kidding! Orson Scott Card is the author of Ender’s Game and the Enderverse Saga (yes, there are quite a few more books in the Ender’s Game series).
But I remember feeling like he hit the monkey on the head with a wrench when I read this quote. Looking back at my own childhood, it was a truth I never knew was there. I never did feel like I was different than my parents were in what I felt or wanted. Even now in my 20’s I’m considered young and highly inexperienced.
Just because we are younger, doesn’t mean we are less human. A child’s experiences, no matter how trivial to those older wise ones, are real and a stepping-stone. So many times we look at people younger than us and think, “oh you’re making a big deal out of nothing.” I do that. I work in preschool. Oh the drama of “She stepped on my shoe!”. “Ms. Lilly he hit me!!!”But the reality is, it’s not nothing.
In their world, it’s everything. In the experiences they’ve had up to that point, it is worth all the tears, joy, and fear that they can cram into the moment. When we were children, our experiences of those trivial “pains” taught us something. Sometimes, maybe it was that the world doesn’t end as easily as we think, or maybe that the unexpected disaster can happen and it CAN happen to us. Maybe it’s that a hug can make all things better. We are all human. What being younger means is that we just have less experience, but it doesn’t mean we ARE less. We just have less depth to us because we lack know-how.
So next time don’t look down you’re nose at those younger than you. Don’t tell us younger folk how stupid you think we are. We are doing the best we can, the best we know how. We are seeing life through a different lens. You are seeing our position through many years worth of lenses layered on top of each other that you picked up along your way. We will get there. Just be patient with us. One day we will be the ‘more’ you want and we will still think we are less because of the words playing around in our heads that tell us we are not enough.
So let us younger ones make our choices (yeah-even bad ones), just be there to pick us up off the ground when we need it. Offer us advice when you can (though not condescendingly) and allow us to learn who we are and become who we were meant to be. It doesn’t happen over night.