I tend to hear myself say, “When I was your age… so learn from me,” often these days. I thought that younger people should always and really listen to me when I say something. I know better than them. Whatever they’re going through now, I already went through before, so have things to say about that. Also, since I’m not that far off from where they are in life now, I’m sure I can relate to them better than older adults they know. Plus, I’m experiencing some adult things now so I understand older adults better than the younger ones, right?
I just realized that I feel this way because I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by adults who hear, consider, value and sometimes mirror my opinion. This made me feel important and matured. Adults are listening to me. They, who experienced life longer than I do, who knows more than I do, who saw way more than I do, listen to me. They must feel that I’m getting things right in life, that I’m more mature than how people are in my age, that I know and understand a lot. And if my seniors in life feel that, then the younger ones must definitely do, too!
I must be overwhelmed by other people’s trust and didn’t notice that the honor I felt turned into pride and became arrogant. I failed to realize that I must be doing what they are doing, too. Listen. I should learn to listen to other people, even to those people who, I think, also needs to listen. I forgot that many of the things I know now I learned not from my own experience but from the experience of others.
I was lucky enough not to experience too much pain and heartaches and only heard about sacrifice, hardships and hopelessness from stories of other people. Many times it seems to me that the answers to many problems are easy, that people are the ones who complicate things too much, that people like to make their own problems. I get amused by how other people don’t see obvious solutions or why they weren’t able to foresee the consequences before they did their actions.
But now I realize that I don’t get to judge because I didn’t actually experience things, go through so much pain and face a problem that would drastically affect my life. I might know and see the obvious solutions because it’s not my life that’s at stake and I’m not the one under pressure. I can only imagine myself in their situations, can only think that I wouldn’t do what they do to themselves, but I’m seeing everything from afar. I’ll never know what I would actually do if I go through what other people went through.
I need to remind myself this, especially at times when I think I’m logical and others are not, when I think other people are being too absurd for not listening to me or taking my advice. Sometimes we’re lucky and blessed. Sometimes we’re not. I’m not having troubles the way other people have not just because I was logical, practical, or did no mistakes to avoid and save myself from having them. I was also lucky. Lucky to have a comfortable life, be surrounded by good people as I grow up, be molded by good adults, and these are things that we can’t control.