Monday, August 29, 2011

Five is the New Forty

I have a theory that answers all of life's relationship questions.  Not discovered by Freud, Jung or even Dr. Phil, all our interpersonal issues boil down to a simple fact; No matter our job, our social status, our fame  or our chronological age, we're really all just five years old.  

No really!  It's true.

Okay, give me a second to prove my point.

That angry check out clerk?  A vinyl nap mat and a snack would do wonders.  Very Kindergarten. Very five.  

Great-Aunt Minnie arguing at the family reunion with her 87 year old brother, Milt over an ear of corn?  She needs a five minute time-out and a reassuring hug.  She's still five.  

The President of the United States and Congressional Leaders arguing about the National Debt Ceiling?  Definitely a group of  I'm-taking-my ball-and going-home five year olds. Gentle limits and defined consequences could have made all the difference, and may have prevented the US credit rating from taking a dip in the world's financial potty chair.  They were all just five, and we forgot.

Think about it in your own life.  When things aren't going quite your way, inside don't we really just want to stomp up and down and cry giant crocodile tears?  Sometimes, I'm tired of pretending that I don't want to have an all out hissy fit about having to be the grown-up, when I just really want a hug and a graham cracker.

Actually, Robert Fulghum had it right in his poem  All I Really Need To Know, I Learned In Kindergarten.  Sharing and playing fair are still some of the most important rules to live by.  What parent wouldn't love their teenager to put things back where they found them, and clean up their own mess?  (My teen is obviously one of the late birthday kids that should've been held back a year.  She hasn't yet reached the All I Really Need To Know Kindergarten clean-up level yet).  

However, as chronologically-aged adults we still struggle with the lessons we learned at five.  I have a hard time saying sorry when I hurt somebody I love. I don't always take the time to play, or sing or dance.  But inside, I still really would love to do just that, and top it all off by skipping down the street.  I miss finger paints and might still enjoy a side-order of paste with my Play-Dough sandwich.  

I think we'd all be so much happier if we let our inner-child free to have a warm cookie and a tall glass of milk, and forgot the double mocha with a low-carb something.

More importantly, remembering that everyone else is five, can help us forgive the little pouts of our spouse, the temper tantrum of the boss and give us the ability to smile at the angry waiter as he slams down a bowl of pasta in an attempt to provide customer service.

We all want to be liked for who we are, and sometimes would feel less alone if when we go out into the world, there was still someone there to hold our hand, and keep us safe.

So, I'll be there for my five year old family and friends, and take care to be kind to the rest of the Kindergarten class I interact with out in the big, bad world every day.

Are you convinced?  If not, have a nap and a couple of raisins on me.  Things will look better in a little bit.

1 comment:

  1. I just came to this realization the other day.
    So and So is grumpy, they need a nap and some food.
    Bittersweet things of life...