• Les Gazzette

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

By Harikrishnan

“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” – Chili Davis

Growing up and growing old are two completely different things.In normal circumstances, we simply grow old; we don’t grow up. As it turns out, the world now revolves around society trying to let the coming generations grow old happily rather than grow up peacefully. Children are put through rigorous trials. Parents want their kids to top the class come what may. Their creativity is suppressed and in the process we make machines, not human beings. Machines that will work diligently and bring home some money. Bring Success. Machines who will study hard and get top grades in 10th, then 12th, get into a good college, graduate, get a decent job, marry, have kids, grow old, be sane and eventually fade into that abyss known as history. And this mantra is what is taught, knowingly or unknowingly, day-in and day-out we embody these words, living in a repetitive, monotonous cycle. And we normalize it for our children too. Growing old is a horizontal process, just moving in a straight line, going everywhere, getting nowhere. We went from the cradle to the grave but we have moved horizontally. We have become old and wrinkled, but our inner being is still in that deepest, darkest pit within us, a masterpiece that has never been excavated. Unless we start growing vertically, upwards to the heights of consciousness, we are not growing up. There’s an old saying, "Keep the Body in motion, and the Mind in Action", which perfectly embodies the idea of growing up as we grow old. There is a massive difference between these two terms, however people often misunderstand and believe that aging implies maturity too. They think that to age is to become mature, but aging belongs to the body, not the mind. Everybody is ageing; everybody will become old, but not necessarily in mind. Maturity is an inner growth. It can't be seen. Osho observes, “Life can be lived in two ways. If you live unconsciously you simply die; if you live consciously, you attain more and more life. Death will come, but it never comes to a mature man, it comes only to a man who has been aging and getting old. A mature man never dies, because he will learn even through death. Even death is going to be an experience to be intensely lived, and watched, allowed. Maturity is awareness, aging is just wasting yourself.”

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