Growing up allows us to experience change and explore unfamiliar horizons. Ironically, no matter how ever-changing life is, there are things that remain with us making us better version of ourselves. It was the wonder of innocence, the longing for knowledge, and the greatness of life that made becoming a youth remarkable chapter of our lives.
1. Enjoying simple pleasures
I have always loved food. Even just the thought of having to open the fridge makes me happy. It made me appreciate what I have and not waste any of it. It also taught me how to share. The simple longing for this basic need enabled me to understand what it means to yearn for more, for myself, and for others. It’s practically the same with the simple things that make us happy and contented without forgetting about how great yearning for excellence means.
2. Smiling a lot
When I was a lot younger, I would have grown-ups around me say I have such smiling face. For me, it felt good to have people smile back when I do. I was so fond of smiling that cheering up other people became its side-effect. Back in college, deadlines, challenges, and roadblocks all too often make our faces grim. Fortunately, the naturalness of smiling made these hurdles smile back at me allowing me to proceed gladly.
3. Caring from and for others
Children have always been considered as fragile beings in need of due care and attention. While being unable to decide on our own, our parents and guardians made sure that we get the best that we can have. Our parents have introduced the concept of responsibility even before we know it. It all started when they, too, are experiencing changes and they have to become responsible ones in order to lead us properly. Growing up may not be easy, but we learn from the caring of others and they from us.
4. Embracing uncertainty
Remember your first try to ride a bicycle? As for me, I fell over quite a lot of times and it cost me a bruise on my face. I was unsure of how my feet would make the pedal work or where my bicycle would bring me, but I still tried. As I became older, uncertainties never fail to amuse and frighten me. However, the way they inspire me to move further and take risks allowed me to straighten up and be stronger. Surely, the journey was worth more than the destination.
5. Satisfying curiosity
Kids have been known for their intense questioning. Try answering their first question and prepare to end up answering questions after another. Looking back, I realize that the beauty in being curious and never stopping to be so, is that it allows you to understand further. As it makes us feel wiser, it also makes us more oblivious. Nevertheless, while our desire to know seems infinite, it makes us become more accepting of the unfamiliar and some more, just like old times.
As young adults, the process of self-discovery seems endless. We get anxious about our life decisions and restless about the future. But what we do not easily realize is that life is a learning process. The best way to learn is by looking back and applying what growing up has taught us. Sometimes, the answers are right in front of us, we just have to look around. Maybe just like me, your childhood is trove of life treasures waiting to be discovered.
By Karla Mae de Leon, a Regional Intern at WYA Asia Pacific.
Karla’s article outlines how lessons learned in early childhood have a profound effect in later young adult life. Many of these lessons happen in the context of family life. That’s why WYA calls family the “first school of life and love.” To learn more about WYA’s ideas on the family, read the WYA Charter, the Declaration on the Family, and the Fact Sheet on the Family.