Question 165 of 365: What do we squander?

Money, time and opportunity.

That is the short answer.

The slightly longer answer is that we squander pretty much anything
that we can get our hands on. I squandered a great deal of my life
hoping that time would allow me to opt out of boredom and uselessness.
It did, a bit. Mostly, though, I just came to my senses.

Whenever I think about adolescence and childhood in general I think
about squandering time.

Childhood is the time when our responsibilities are less and our free
time is more. It is the one time that worry lacks potency, that
problems loom large only because most problems haven’t been discovered
yet. Now, I know not all childhood is like this. But, I have to
believe that at some point, everyone is treated as though they are a
child, and this means that people don’t expect them to spend the vast
majority of their time on others. Childhood is selfish. And we
squander that selfishness.

I wish that someone would have told me that I could do anything as a
child and not have to wait until adulthood. I wish someone would have
told me that the free time of a child is not the same as that of an
adult. I know now that the limits on what is possible before you hit
18 are self-imposed and not dictated by laws, the way that most public
institutions would have you believe. Squandering time on non-creative
pursuits is the single greatest regret I have for children. All
children.

Posted via email from The Throughput

0 Comments

  1. jacquelinecahill

    I hear what you are saying…I've seen so many of my students or friend's kids with amazing talents that aren't tapped into…because they are kids…however I wonder if this is what allows them to grow and find themselves and develop numerous talents. I know if my talent and passion were really tapped I would never have been a special ed teacher for 11 years…always wonder how a major change would effect me but also all those whose lives I impacted…hard to say…I see both sides…yet perhaps how it would've gone would've impacted me and others more…again you just never know, I guess

  2. Yeah, I have no concept of what would have happened had I really believed
    that I could capture all of the time I “wasted” on things that weren't
    important. I also am not completely convinced that the downtime for youth is
    a bad thing. I just as sad that whenever I talk to kids they seem to believe
    that their childhood has to be in preparation for something. I would much
    rather childhood be the thing that they are waiting for and not the thing
    afterwards.

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