2.19.2010

Adulthood and tragedy.

One thing I miss about being young is how negative events and even tragedies don't feel negative or tragic, if anything they are fun and exciting.

When I was a kid talk about the Second Coming Armageddon sounded so fun and excited, now it sounds terrible. (of course, then I believed the second coming would be a positive event, now I would view it as being equal to or worse than the holocaust. God's holocaust as I refer to it.) But even events like September 11th, which happened when I was 19, felt exciting to me, rather than sad or tragic. If my city had flooded when I was a kid and my family had to stay in an emergency shelter it probably would have felt like the funnest adventure, now it would be sad and burdensome.

I think this is something common to most kids, though it may have lasted in me longer than in some others. I feel in someways it may have hindered my development as it also caused me to not take seriously things I should have, such as applying to college on time or paying my bills.

My newer adult outlook towards negative events was brought to my attention yesterday when I was arrested. The time before when I was arrested, I was about 24 and even then the entire situation was tinged with excitement and interest. This time I felt almost none of that. (although, I think to a very small degree I did.) Rather than feeling excited and curious, I felt annoyed and perhaps a little angry. I really don't want to be the sort of person that gets very worked up at the slightest injustice which happens to them as if their life is so much more important than others, or as if the injustice in their life is worse than those who face serious and enduring injustice. I don't think I am a person like that, but I am now more like that than when I was a child.

I realize that childhood excitement at tragedy is not a practical way of being. If everyone were that way no wrongs would be made right and the world would fall apart, but I still miss being that way.

2 comments:

Cooliosaurus said...

Chris the exact same thing happened to me! I thought 9-11 was kind of exciting when it happened. But now with that guy in Austin it seemed horrible to me and they don't know if anyone even died. Maybe one person (besides the pilot.)

Sometime in my mid-twenties I realized that I would die someday and I think that's what changed things. I mean, I always knew I would die of course, but it seemed a lot more real. And time keeps going faster and faster and all of the sudden 80 years doesn't seem like enough. Sixty or so years healthy if we're lucky.

Chris Almond said...

I used to think it would be my pleasure to shoot you in the face with a gun on your thirtieth birthday, now knowing you would like to live a long full life it will be sad for me. I'm not saying I am any less likely to show up on the morning of your 30th birthday and as you open your eyes shoot your face off with a shot gun, because I am not, I am still 100% likely to blast you to smithereens on that fatefully day, your thirtieth birthday. All I'm saying is that now it will be bitter sweet, whereas before it would have only been sweet.