Youthful Einsteins

“Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.” David Bowie

Most of us have been there before, “If I only knew then what I know now.” Wouldn’t we all be frickin geniuses were we to apply that latter life knowledge to our past ignorance’s and unintended errors? But in addition to not knowing many things we wish we’d known, there must be more to this idiom than just knowledge. Some attribute it to experience and or maturity – yet I don’t entirely buy that. As I have confronted my own fears and in the process bared myself to new ideas, concepts and pseudo-philosophies these past several years, it is not merely within the purview of the mature that I have learned these matters. I am often in awe of – let’s label them (oh I hate labels) the Millennials – who themselves possess vast stores of mindful wisdom. How is it that such wisdom is acquired at a relatively early age? I have watched their YouTube videos or the like of these youthful Einsteins and the messages I heard belie the youth-like image of the vessel in which the message is elucidated. Speaking of Einstein, his manifest “Miracle Year”, the year in which he wrote among other papers the famous E=mc² and the theory of relativity, he was but 26 years old.

That we can all become Einstein’s is preposterous yet many of us can concede our particular failings and grow out from them at any age. The mere fact that I learned something at fifty meant I was capable at thirty or even younger. I myself may not have been ready to learn then but that is another story.

So what is it that holds us back? What imprisons and entraps us? Could it be we try to live up to the “Joneses” not merely in material acquisitions but also more profoundly trying to fit in with the crowd by hiding our own and unique authenticity? What if so-and-so found out we liked country music when they thought we were rap fan enthusiasts through and through? Perhaps we hid our love of entertainment wrestling because we thought it would be weird within our circle. What if they thought we were religious and we were not? What if we are living a lie?

We are a fearful species. We fear negative judgement and will do almost anything to prevent it from occurring. One question to ask ourselves is; who are “they” that we fear? Who gives them such power over us? And what would happen if they found out our secret? There is that judgement again.

Fear guides us. Fear often controls us. Fear shapes our daily interactions with the world. Fear drives our suspicions. Fear creates prejudice within us. Fear is of the unknown.

So we needn’t get older to know who we are and to begin to rid ourselves of fear. What is prerequisite is to break negative habits that have been a part of us for years and years. Aging however might be that catalyst of “enough is enough”; I don’t want or need to absorb this self-inflicted shit upon myself any further. Perhaps that is where aging helps. But aging is not essential to determine who we are. Look at and be inspired by youth. Some of them figured this out long before we did or have. The sooner we begin to recognize our walls, the sooner we can break them down, be free and happier more content human beings. That potential is within each one of us.

 

 

9 thoughts on “Youthful Einsteins

  1. Such great questions – “What would happen if they found out our secret?” and “What gives them such power over us?” I have spent so much time revolving my choices and actions around “they” — a “they” I have never met in 45 years. A “they” that may not even exist. Maybe “they” is just our own insecurities and a convenient excuse for us to not take chances and let ourselves down. Good things to look inside and talk with ourselves about. 🙂

    • Hello AnnaLisa;
      “They” can be quite powerful can’t they? Of course, it is us, you and I that own that power. Should be an interesting conversation.
      Take care and bye for now.
      Stuart

  2. I wonder if the ability to become vulnerable is the key to easing through the process of ageing. I see it very much as a watershed time, when old ways of being, hiding, pretending, become entrenched, or we reach the point where we have had enough of the unreal, keeping up appearances shit. If we don’t successfully navigate this waterway then the opportunity for an authentic life is gone. I believe it is also about who we have around us. Sticking with the water metaphor, as I age, I know that some pools I am in will slowly drown me, but others will encourage me to climb the high waterslide and fly down to the almighty splash at the bottom. All of these realisations take honesty and courage. I also believe you are right about watching the young. They fill me with hope. Thank you, I do enjoy your thought provoking posts.

    • Dear Jill;
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I think vulnerability is a vital ability to move forward through so many challenges we face. See Brene Brown on vulnerability. Wishing you well in 2018.
      Stuart

  3. In thinking about judgement from others I am reminded of what a priest once told me. “We spend all kinds of money we don’t have, buying things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like”

  4. I love the Bowie quote!
    As I have aged and become (hopefully) wiser, I think I’ve gotten slightly braver and perhaps more fearless and less fearful of ‘they’ (I hope ‘they’ aren’t reading this!). When I turned 50 I was told I was entering the ‘f-u 50’ stage, and it’s held true to some extent, or again, perhaps we become more brazen and care less (or careless?). As usual, your writing is thought provoking and enlightening. I did not know that Einstein was 26!

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