a strange thing happens when we get older. we lose the foolish pride of our youth and gain an arrogance inflated by our so-called world experience. “i’ve tasted more salt than you,” we proudly proclaim, as if it were a license to discard all humility.
perhaps we are so anxious to forget how naive we were once, so much so that selective amnesia becomes our coping mechanism of choice. we deny that we ever harboured childish thoughts. we refuse to acknowledge the silly decisions we made. and when younger minds make the same mistakes we made years ago, we are quick to judge and condemn.
i made a promise some time ago to never forget how juvenile i was in school. i promised to remember that every exam i went through, every conflict i cried over was very real at the time. when i become a doctor in the future, i will recall the awkwardness i am experiencing now as i make my way cautiously around the wards and be forgiving towards the students that get in my way.
over the weekend, i made it a point to read my old diaries so i can remember what it was like being 18.
i was “depressed” every other week. every single problem i encountered was a major catastrophe. a tiff with a roommate meant armageddon was at hand. God forbid if i should have homework and project work to do on the same night. i was convinced that everyone was in cahoots against me, that i was the victim in every situation.
it made me laugh, but it also served as a reminder that my mind was alot narrower then than it is now. i understand that my mind is broadening, even as i write. what i consider a major problem at this point in my life will be a trivial worry 5 years down the road. it was a humbling thought.
so who am i to look down at someone younger and dismiss her as childish, immature and too stubborn to see the big picture? i may be able to identify things on a larger scale now, but when i was her age, i was just as foolish. i’d probably throw the same tantrums and sulk in the same corner.
i am a little more than incensed by the situation simply because some humility and growing up could pretty much solve the whole problem, but the retrospective look on things is proof that some grace could very well come into the equation too. grace, patience, lots of prayer.
i wish i shared my tiny world with someone bigger a long time ago. maybe then i wouldn’t have stayed so small for so long. she has no idea how blessed she is.