Today my country is celebrating the acceptance into adulthood of our young minds. It is a day the “new adults” recognize the meaning of being accepted to become adults and the “already adults” vow to offer support for them to become successful adults. “New adults” get dressed in formal wear, be congratulated on coming of age, and go out to knock themselves out… sometimes literally. “Already adults” wonder why some just cannot act as adults.
But, strictly speaking, the young minds are not yet accepted as adults, but rather accepted to be ready to become adults. Subtle, but an important difference, I think. And a difference both sides seem to be overlooking. Today is actually the day that marks the beginning of a test of proof – for the “new adults” that they are indeed ready to take on the responsibilities of being adults, and for the “already adults” that they have indeed equipped the young minds with the skills and know-hows to be responsible adults.
Maybe I am too hung up on the meaning of coming of age?
Maybe I am being too technical?
Maybe I am being a party-pooper?
I do not mean to be. But I believe if we change the way we interpret to what the young minds come of age, we can better understand why some “new adults” come to behave like responsible adults slower than others (or never, for that matter!) – they had not been equipped with the necessary skills and know-hows and were not yet ready to become adults. Then, we will have better insight on what measures need to be taken for young minds to become more successful in adulthood.
Today the “new adults” cleared only the minimum requirement of being adults by coming of age. Have they been prepared well enough to go on to fulfill other requirements as well? I think this is what the “already adults” really should be wondering.