Are You A Child Or An Adult?
A long time ago, a lot of ancient and primitive civilizations had some kind of “coming of age” ceremony. There are still remnants of that today in both the Jewish and The Catholic traditions, and likely a few others of which I’m not qualified to speak of.
But the ones from before, way before, were much more significant. Simply because the tribe depended on the full adulthood of all it’s members in order to survive. There needed to be a clear line between children and adults. The children were dependent on the providers, and the adults were the providers. If an adult still had some childish characteristics, and depended others more than he or she was able to provide for others, then he or she would be a detriment to the group. Perhaps even cast out.
So societies developed rituals, and traditions where boys became men, and girls became women. With women it was fairly easy. By giving birth a child, the girl would swiftly transform herself from a dependent to a provider. With a constant reminder of how close death was, this became fairly easy.
With men it wasn’t so easy, so they needed to develop a coming of age ceremony. Not like today, where they are mere echoes of those of the past, these were real and life changing events. Boys were dragged of and forced to spend days in the wilderness, alone. Given hallucinogenic drugs, forced to hunt and drink the blood of their prey.
When they left, their mothers wept. Because they knew that the boys would never return. They would come back forever changed into men. Men that were no longer dependent on their mothers or the tribe, but providers, hunters, and killers.
They went through this transformation by facing their deepest fears. The fear of isolation, separation and death. The ultimate rejection. By facing their fears and overcoming them, they became more powerful than they thought possible as boys.
By going through this fear facing life-changing transformation, they transformed themselves from receivers, to creators.
With modern society, this has all but vanished. There are a million ways to avoid your fears and remain dependent on others. It is relatively easy in today’s modern society to remain a child your whole life, expecting others to provide for you. Your girlfriend, husband, government, society in general. These can all be crutches that keep you from reaching your greatest potential.
Society is no longer dependent on every single person making the transformation from childhood to adulthood. In fact, arguments may be made that today’s society functions more efficiently if only a small number make the transition to be creators and providers for the vast majority who are content to remain dependent receivers their whole lives.
In ancient Rome, much is spoken about how powerful and innovative their government was, by few are aware of the vast majority of people, Roman citizens, were basically on welfare. Completely dependent on the state for their livelihood.
And so it has been for that last few thousand years. The only way to make the transition from childhood adulthood is to make the choice yourself. Nobody will do it for you; nobody will drag you to a cave and force you to face your fears. Nobody will allow your child to die if you can find enough food. No tigers will come and eat your baby if you don’t watch after it 24/7.
If you want to become and adult, and realize your true human potential you need to stop relying on free gifts from others. Free support, free dependence. Get rid of the notion that everybody deserves X.
That can be harsh idea to accept. But once you accept the idea that the only way you get X is to figure out a way to secure it for yourself. That may mean paying money for it, or entering into an agreement with somebody else, where they give you X and you give them Y, whatever they may be.
The fear is that if you give up expecting free X from somebody, (e.g. free parental love from a partner, free money from the government) that you will never get it. That you will be left out in the cold, rejected and abandoned.
The truth is that is exactly what you need to feel to make it to the other side. To face your fears, and realize what Rocky Balboa said to Clubber Lang in Rocky III holds much truth:
“You ain’t so bad! You ain’t nothing!”
And then you will realize that on your other side of the fears you’ve created in your mind, there is a world of abundance waiting for you to readily give you anything that you properly ask for through your behavior and communication.
The choice is yours. You can be safe, or you can be free.