When I was very young, around five to seven years of age, I was fascinated with everything around me. I suddenly felt like I didn’t know anything at all and I wanted to know it all. I wanted to experience every little thing and store it away in my head. Maybe that’s why I put my finger into a pot full of boiling water. Up to that point, I didn’t really think I’d feel the pain. You see, I thought I was superman at that time. Of course I don’t need to tell you what happened afterwards. But I have never put my finger into a pot full of boiling water ever again!
It is this incessant curiosity that saves humanity and destroys it at the same time. It is this urge to experience everything that consumes us at specific stages in our lives. At some point in life you feel as if your elders don’t really know what they’re talking about. You start feeling as if they were living in a different time and place and that with you everything will be different. You start feeling as if you’re the one exception to the rule.
Everyone feels that way. Even your elders felt that way. It is out of kindness and concern that they tell you not to put your finger into that pot of boiling water. It is out of their deep love and care for you that they tell you to wait, to think things through before doing whatever it is that you want to do. Yet how many times do we listen?
Sometimes it’s just as well that we stick our fingers into those pots of boiling water. It’ll serve us a whole lot of good in the future. We’ll be more inclined to listen. To know that they don’t want to deprive us of our “God-given rights and privileges”. That they only want the best for us.
Sometimes it really sucks to acknowledge that you were at fault. That you deserve what happens to you. After all you were the one who never listened in the first place. But the good thing is that next time you won’t trip yourself to put that finger into that pot of boiling water. You’ll wait. You’ll consult. You’ll listen. You’ll obey. But you have to feel the scalding water on the tip of your finger before you can acknowledge that fact.
Growing up is not what I thought it was. It’s more complicated than I ever thought it would be. There’s always a pot of boiling water in front of you. Whether you put your finger in or not depends on you. And on how many times you’ve been burned.