By Kerri Romeo
What does it mean to be an adult? When we are young we can’t wait to grow up. We imitate adults, dressing like them; speaking like them; acting like them. We imagine what we will be when we grow up: A teacher? A doctor? A fireman? An astronaut? A president?
Then we grow up and it isn’t all we had imagined it to be.
“‘…but I’m grown up now,’ she added in a sorrowful tone; `at least there’s no room to grow up any more here.’” (Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Chapter IV)
Alice’s journey is about developing her self-identity. This is the natural process of growing up. Nobody said it was going to be easy. Alice outgrew her surroundings (the White Rabbit’s house) and finds herself stuck.
She is still being told what to do. There is no room for her to learn anything new and she is terrified of the White Rabbit’s authority (who belittled poor Bill the lizard to take down Alice at his own expense). Essentially nothing has changed. Alice has confused a quick fix and physical growth with a slower, more sustainable emotional growth.
Like Alice, we have grown to be the size of adults, but what has changed? Leaders are calling one another names, in the political playground our representatives and corporatist elites are making up the rules as they go along to always win the game while the little guy (the poor and working class) is sacrificed.
As one celebrity elite on social media comments to everyone who disagrees with her, “grow up” or “we are adults”, it seems too many have confused adulthood with age rather than maturity. But as we elect these officials and idolize these celebrities we reflect back our own lack of maturity. If we aren’t holding ourselves accountable and continue to defend, vote for and celebrate the behaviors of those who prevent growth we will remain stuck as a society.
We have outgrown the small-minded society. How do we break free from what we no longer fit?
“Alice thought to herself, ‘I wonder what they will do next!’”
What will they throw our way? How will we respond?
“What’s difficult in life is to stay centered when somebody does or says something that tempts us to close our hearts because their heart was closed. That is hard. But that is also how we grow. We go through those circumstances in order to evolve into people who can hold to our loving center no matter what the world throws us.” ~ Marianne Williamson (from Holistic Politics: A Conversation with Marianne Williamson)
Victoria reminds us how to respond with maturity to What We Don’t Understand
Editor’s note: Learn more about The Wonderland Campaign and it’s author in “Questions For Alice”, a new interview with Kerri Romeo, published this week.
Kerri spends her days as an office administrator for a ballet barre manufacturer and her free time playing frisbee with her dog in NJ. Often at a loss for words in person, she writes to make sense of the world and connect with others. She wishes for more curiosity & kindness in the world.