When do I get to grow up?

Boy howdy do I look forward to being an “adult.” To not putting down other people to make myself feel better, to speak with patience and graciousness to people who are different from ourselves or just a little behind us on the maturity path.

I would like to put away childish things.

Recently some news about the death of a former colleague came to my attention that caused me deep shame. We all have shame that we can chalk up to being a high school hormone-doped teenager or a college-aged adult crazed from our first taste of freedom from parental bondage, but this shame originates from a time in my life when I was more or less “adult.”

I’m almost 40 now, but the time from which my shame comes from was when I lived in Chiba, Japan and was already 30 and the mother of a baby Girl1.

You would think, being a mother, and having experienced how it feels to be an outsider, that I would have had the compassion to reach out to people different from me.

But I didn’t.

And I am deeply ashamed and disappointed in myself, the same heat on my cheeks and sinking sensation in my stomach when I hear girl2 call the ESL kid in her class “weird” or calls a behaviorally challenged boy “bad”.

Because I wasn’t aged in the single digits when I made the same kind of judgements myself. I wasn’t even a teenager. I looked at the outward appearance of a person, a person who had different ways of interacting socially then the ones society determines is “cool” and consigned that person to a lesser status.

And it’s a shame that a death is what makes me sit up and take notice of what a jerk I am. But that’s what the news does.

How long? How long until that stuff becomes matter-of-course and not a struggle?

How long til my soul gets it right? Does any human being ever reach that kind of light? quoted from Indigo Girls’ Galileo.

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