We've all seen the message, the warning. It's all over social media and bumper stickers. Older folks sport it on t shirts as they walk the shopping malls in the early morning.
"Don't Grow Up. It's A Trap."
Maybe I'm not a good one to give advice here. Except for a larger shoe size and a deeper voice, I'm not sure I've done much growing up. I can put you in contact with ex-girlfriends and wives who will vouch for me.
It seems clear to me that the secret is to take the good parts and reject the rest. At every stage. I'm just going to give you a few examples, then you're on your own.
Be nice. Oh, they have to fill big books to look important. If the Bible or the Koran or the Torah had been graphic novel size, nobody would have ever taken them seriously. You can't make Charlton Heston movies from pamphlets. For the most part, though, all the good books compile stories to help make the point, treat other folks like you want them to treat you.
Ten commandments? Make up your own. I did. Twice! Same deal- they can all be summed up with "be nice."
Preachers have to fill up forty minutes each week. If they just show up for three or four weeks in a row, remind you to be nice and scurry off to the golf course they're gonna lose a good deal. Society will pressure them to sell annuities to retirees or start a lawn service.
You don't have to own a mansion to be nice. Or happy, for that matter. Oh, and that Corvette? Girls have joked since the first ones rolled off the assembly line in Flint in '53 about the car and the size of your talleywhacker.
My point is, none of it matters.
You're tricked into competition in kindergarten. I didn't go to kindergarten.
Tie a silk ribbon around your neck if you want to but don't do it because the man at the bank does. In fact, wear what you think is pretty. Pink's good. Oh, I like purple, too.
Now, it occurs to me that girls have a head start. Let me point out here that I use the term, girls, intentionally and with all the respect in the whole wide world. Girls start off nicer. Don't get tricked into pant suits. Oh, wear 'em if you like them but don't give up frilly dresses or Levis in order to become Secretary of State or head of Yahoo.
I could go on and on about your neighbor's wife or his ass but I have no obligations here. I'll say it one more time- be nice.
I love you.